CHENNAI: Hundreds of villagers in over 40 villages near Thiruninravur in Tiruvallur district are forced to take a circuitous route after the causeway near Kottamedu and Puduchatiram was washed away in the rains that lashed the State recently.
Now people, including students of various schools and colleges have to take a route that is over 18 km longer to reach other parts of the city, alleged the villagers.
“This is the route taken by buses including 58C, 54A, 154A and 54V that used to go over this causeway to Ponnamallee, Vepambattu, Periapalayam, T Nagar, and from there to other parts of the city. This road connected us to the National Highways like NH 205, NH 5 and NH 4,” a local villager told Express.
Hundreds of families in nearby villages, mostly daily labourers, go to Poonamallee for work, he added.
According to him, now they have to take the Outer Ring Road that connects Vandalur to Ennore, which is at least about 18 km longer.
The surplus water from Kosasthalaiyar river and also from Puduchatiram lake is diverted to the sea using this causeway. “But after the Kosasthalaiyar river and Puduchatiram lake were filled up, they allowed the surplus water to flow out from both these places which damaged the bridge,” said Gunasekaran, another villager.
Villagers here blamed the PWD for not maintaining the decades-old bridge. Also, there is largescale sand mining from Puduchatiram lake which is one of the main reasons why the structure was weakened. “All these years, this bridge withstood the floods. But because of the indifference of authorities, the bridge was damaged in the recent floods,” added a villager.