TRICHY: City residents seem to have realized that elections are the time to demand their pound of flesh. Condemning the inordinate delay in establishing the service road for a portion of Trichy-Thanjavur National Highways 83, the Federation for Retrieval of Trichy-Palpannai-Thuvakudi Service Road has passed a resolution to boycott the ensuing general election.
Residents under the federation have also resolved to rope in other similar outfits and residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) falling under the Trichy parliamentary constituency to come together to boycott the election. Though the Trichy-Thanjavur NH 83 (old number 67) was completed by NHAI in 2012, the service road for 14.5 kilometres of the stretch has not been laid yet.
This has made the residents of Palpannai, Thuvakudi and Thiruverumbur, who frequently commute on the stretch, vulnerable to fatal accidents. There is no legal hurdle in acquiring 43.5 hectares of land for establishing either a 45-metre or 60-metre-wide service road of which government land accounts for 60% . However, residents said that the state government had not made any attempt to establish the road for the past 7 years.
“We are frustrated at the apathy of the state and central governments in providing us service road for a safe journey. Since our demands are ignored by elected representatives, we are forced to boycott the ensuing polls,” S Sakthivel, organizer of the federation, told. A section of members in the federation proposed a plan to take up a signature campaign seeking service road at a consultation meeting on Friday evening. They suggested sensitizing the people through social media platforms to cast their votes to None Of The Above (NOTA) option in the ensuing election.
“Ever since the Madurai bench of Madras high court vacated the April 2016 stay order that was restraining the authorities from commencing land acquisition, the state government has been hesitating to acquire land even for a 45-metre-wide service road,” Sakthivel added calling it a betrayal. Apart from castigating the ruling AIADMK, residents also expressed their dissatisfaction at the lull in efforts taken by Thiruverumbur DMK MLA Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi in taking up the pending service road issue with the chief minister for swift solution. Federation for Retrieval of Trichy Palpannai-Thuvakudi Service Road urged the state government to initiate land acquisition at least in the government properties falling on the NH 83 stretch left without the service road.