Corpn. yet to depute surveyors to mark the encroachments to be removed
K. Ramkumar of Rathinapuri avoids driving through the Kavundampalayam Junction on Mettupalayam Road. His reason for preferring an alternative route is traffic congestion.
“The drive from the Junction to G.N. Mills stop that usually takes five to seven minutes now takes 25 minutes because of the reduction in carriageway, haphazard driving and absence of regulation,” he says.
To ease the movement of vehicles and reduce congestion, the National Highways has taken up construction of a flyover on Mettupalayam Road, near the Junction, which sees around 70,000 passenger car units a day. But the very construction has now become the cause for slower movement of vehicles as the width of the road has reduced.
Road Safety Committee member K. Kathirmathiyon attributes the reduction in the width of carriageway to the Coimbatore Corporation’s failure to remove encroachments.
Despite repeated reminders and instructions to remove encroachments at the Junction, the Corporation had not acted for a good six months. All that the Corporation had to do was to merely mark the extent to be demolished by deputing its surveyors.
“If it does so, the National Highways will carry out the eviction. But without the Corporation surveyors marking the extent of encroachments, the National Highways cannot do anything,” he says and adds that the Corporation unable to depute surveyors shows how inept and insensitive it is to a development project and that too by the government.
Mr. Kathirmathiyon says that the Corporation’s delay in deputing surveyors came to light in replies that the National Highways sent in response to his queries under the Right To Information Act.
He raised the issue of the Corporation’s inaction at the Road Safety Meeting and that forced the Collector to also write to the Corporation to depute surveyors, but even then the civic body has not responded.
He adds that the National Highways first asked the Corporation to depute surveyors in March this year. Assuming that the Corporation surveyors were busy in election work, the civic body should have acted after the declaration of election results.
This did not happen and that forced the National Highways to send reminders.
Sources in the Corporation admit that the National Highways has also been asking surveyors to be deputed to mark the extent of encroachments on the western end of the Trichy Road flyover and near the Sungam Junction.
They say that the civic body will soon depute surveyors to assist the National Highways in both the flyover projects.
Mr. Kathirmathiyon cautions that if the civic body does not act and the National Highways is forced to complete the flyover projects without the encroachments being removed, it will lead to the Karumathampatti Flyover-like situation where the reduced width of the service road is causing accidents.
Corporation Commissioner Sravan Kumar Jatavath said that he would “get back”, at the time of filing the report.