SALEM: Work on widening the Omalur-Mecheri State Highway (SH-222) is going in full swing and is expected to be complete before December as per schedule. People from the two towns use the road to reach Mettur, where a large number of industries are located.
In 2020, the AIADMK government announced the project to upgrade the road into a four-lane highway, following persistent demands from locals. The 14.60 km stretch is among the fourteen corridors selected under the Tamil Nadu Road Sector Project (TNRSP-II) with financial assistance from the World Bank. A total of 1,300 trees were felled to widen the road.
Speaking to TNIE, V Lingam, a resident of Pachanampatti said, “Widening of the road is important to reduce accidents. The government must complete the project on time.”
R Jayaprakash, a resident of Omalur said, “For this project, many trees were cut down. After road laying works are finished, the government should take steps to plant saplings.”
An official in the State Highway department said, “A sum of Rs 144 crore was sanctioned for the project. Work was to start in April 2021 was delayed till June. We are on schedule and the road will be ready by December 2022. As per rules, for every tree removed, we have to plant ten saplings. We plan to plant 13,000 saplings. Not all saplings could be planted in the 14-km stretch. We will plant them in other places also.”