SALEM: Construction of stormwater drains has delayed laying of the road at Kombaipatti junction.
The Government Zoological park at Kurumbapatti near Yercaud Foothills is 12 km away from the Salem New Bus Stand. The park spread over 31 hectares has 157 animals. The footfall in the park is especially high during weekends. The main route to reach the park is via Gorimedu, Kombaipatti junction and Kondappanaickenpatti, a 7km stretch. The road is also used by garbage vehicles owned by Salem City Municipal Corporation (SCMC) on the way to Chettichavadi.
Hundreds of heavy and light vehicles ply this road daily. But a km of this stretch between NGGO Colony Road and Kombaipatti Mariamman Temple Junction is completely damaged and has not been relaid for years, even though some other roads on this stretch were relaid. Similarly, the road towards Chettichavadi from Kombaipatti junction is also damaged severely.
In November 2021, SCMC workers filled some potholes at Kombaipatti junction using jelly mixed with cement. But it was washed away in the rain within two days. After TNIE carried a report highlighting this, the SCMC started re-laying the road in the third week of January 2022. Similarly, works were started on the Kombaipatti junction to the Chettichavadi stretch as well.
Meanwhile, local body elections were announced and officials got busy. As Kombaipatti junction falls under ward 6, where City Mayor A Ramachandran is from, officials halted the work and started construction of a stormwater drain to avoid rainwater stagnation. The stormwater drain work that started in March is now nearing completion but the road remains damaged.
Speaking to TNIE, an SCMC official said, "The stormwater drain construction will be completed in the next 10 days and after that, the road will be laid within a week. If a road is laid without a stormwater drain, it will be damaged soon. Kombaipatti-Chettichavadi road work was completed in March itself."