CHENNAI: National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is likely to complete relaying all damaged stretches of tollways that were badly hit in recent rains and floods in Tamil Nadu by Pongal day, January 15.
According to official sources, about 100 kilometres of national highways, have been damaged in the wake of a heavy downpour early this month. While a chunk of these rain-hit stretches are located around Chennai, some service roads also suffered damages along Tirunelveli-Thootukudi national highway.
“We are taking steps for relaying all these damaged stretches, which are likely to be completed by January 15,” a NHAI official said. Some of the worst affected stretches are Chennai-Walajah and Chennai-Tada national highways, the official added. Asked whether any survey was conducted in the aftermath of rains to evaluate the extent of damages, sources said inspections were carried out with losses to the tune of `50 crore have been estimated. Several stretches of the national highways were rendered unmotorable. Trucker associations are alleging that absence of good roads are causing road accidents with two-wheelers bearing the brunt at large.
Alleging that roads have disappeared on the National Highways connecting Chennai with the rest of the State, R Sugumar, president of the Tamil Nadu Lorry Owners Federation said that bad roads are taking a heavy toll on travel time. “The three highways such as Chennai - Chengalpattu, Chennai - Walajah and Chennai - Tada are the gateways for Tamil Nadu. But, these roads are unmotorable and steps must be taken on a war footing to relay damaged stretches, a key reason for a spike in road accidents, largely involving two wheelers,” he underlined. He also sought the Centre to waive toll fees till roads are completely re-laid in the State.