PERAMABALUR: The closing of the Chinnaru causeway connecting Perambalur with Ariyalur district to traffic following the structure suffering damage in the monsoon rains has come as a body blow to the public, who complain of difficulties ranging from carrying harvest to taking cattle for grazing.
The causeway across the Chinnaru river that flows through Keezha Perambalur in Veppur union was being used by the public to reach various parts of Ariyalur district via Velvimangalam, Veeramanallur and Sendurai. Until the northeast monsoon rains led to the weakening of the structure and caused a portion of the causeway to collapse last week. While the incident did not lead to any accident, the Highways Department has closed the road for traffic. This has left commuters with no option but to travel an extra 20 km to reach their destination. Heavy vehicles, including government buses from Ariyalur, Cuddalore and Perambalur districts, that use the causeway, too, suffer.
A Murugesan, a resident of Velvimangalam, said, "Everyone around the causeway is into farming. Currently, it is harvest time for various crops, including paddy and maize. The bridge is broken, making it difficult to carry harvest. Also, no heavy vehicles can cross the bridge. Only two-wheelers can do so."
"The cost of transportation increases when we pass by the other way. This reduces our income. We will face huge losses if the produce is not sold at a reasonable price. Authorities must take action and repair the causeway immediately," he added.
Another resident, L Arunachalam, said, "Bus facilities to our village have been suspended due to the causeway collapse. We are forced to catch an autorickshaw ride for everything.”
The cattle can’t be taken for grazing, he further said. Several villagers from Ariyalur, and school students who took the causeway to reach their schools, are now finding it difficult to travel, he added.
When enquired, an official from the Perambalur State Highways Department told TNIE, "We inspected the damaged place and sent a proposal for repairs to the government. We will take action soon."