In a major eviction operation, the State Highways department on Tuesday demolished several concrete structures that had encroached upon a stretch of Pudukottai Road leading to TVS Tollgate in the city. The move comes ahead of the department’s plans to relay the road. According to officials, some of the encroached structures had survived for several decades. Notices were issued thrice to the encroachers before Tuesday’s eviction drive. The encroached area was also measured in their presence as per a direction of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, a senior official of the department said.
In all, encroached portions of 43 structures, many of them made of concrete, were being demolished. At least five earthmovers were deployed in the exercise. A carriageway between Pudukottai Road over bridge near Goodshed and TVS Tollgate was closed and traffic diverted. The eviction was carried out with tight police protection. R. Krishnasamy, Divisional Engineer, Highways Department, and other officials supervised the operation. With the stretch facing severe traffic congestion, officials said nearly four-five metres of land would be recovered through the eviction and the road would be widened.
The department recently decided to relay the 1.6-km stretch from Gandhi Statue near Head Post Office to TVS Tollgate as it was becoming highly congested, especially between Pudukottai Road Overbridge and TVS Tollgate. The road would be redeveloped at a cost of ₹4.6 crore sanctioned under the Comprehensive Road Infrastructure Development Programme, the road would soon be laid end-to-end with pedestrian footpath.
The road was an arterial one in the city leading to Circuit House near TVS Tollgate and also to the airport. It was witnessing chaotic traffic ever since a median was built a few years ago from Goodshed overbridge to TVS Tollgate. Multiple openings in the median to allow local residents to cross over had been giving a torrid time for motorists travelling on Pudukottai Main Road, especially between the Kallukuzhi intersection and the TVS Tollgate. Unruly drivers, complete absence of police regulation and encroachments aggravated the problem. Roadside eateries and vendors also occupied substantial portions of the road, much to the inconvenience of motorists.
(source : The Hindu)