The lack of signboards on the Tiruchy-Chennai national highway to direct road users from the southern districts to Tiruchy city leaves not only visitors a confused lot but makes locals fall victim as well. Missing the Mannarpuram service road – the main gateway to the city -- owing to the lack of such signs, road users complain of their commute stretching by at least an additional 2 kilometres before they find their way into Tiruchy city.
Commuters pour out their angst from forcibly having to take the successive service road at TVS tollgate, which is around 2 km farther, and sometimes even the one beyond that near Palpannai, after missing the Mannarpuram service road owing to the lack of road signs.
L Deenadayalan, a motorist from Kathapatti in Madurai, said, "I visit Tiruchy and Karur often. However, I would be left confused on how to enter the city as there is no board here. I have missed the Mannapuram service road several times during the night when coming to Tiruchy. Then I take the TVS tollage or Palpannai service road and enter the city.” It annoys me to cover a further 2-5 km before entering the city, he added.
V Periyasamy of Tiruchy said, "I am a car driver and reside in Tiruchy. It is usual for me to travel to various districts, including Ramanathapuram and Tiruchendur, with customers. Sometimes, I miss the service road when I return to Tiruchy. Then I take the next service road. This embarrasses me and them, and wastes time."
I know of even government buses missing the service road many a time and returning to take it. It is also prone to accidents, he added.
Lorry driver R Vijayakanth, who was at the spot, said, "Road users from other districts get confused due to the lack of signboards at Mannarpuram and stop before the service road and ask lorry drivers where the road leads to. This would lead to vehicles coming from behind to collide into them. Signboards must
hence be set up here to prevent accidents and in the interest of road users."
When contacted, a senior National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) official with the Tiruchy division told TNIE, “There is a signboard directing to Tiruchy at Edamalaipatti Pudur. However, I will inspect and set up a signboard on Mannarpuram service road directing one to Tiruchy city."