TIRUCHY: Monday's incident of a private school bus falling off the state highways near Koiyathoppu village in Adavathur brought to the fore once again long-pending demands by local residents to widen the 3.2 km stretch of the highway from Allithurai to Koiyathoppu.
According to sources, the bus fell on its side after it tried to avoid a two-wheeler coming in the opposite direction. No major injuries were reported, however, and the students who suffered minor injuries were discharged that very day, said police.
"This is one of the busiest roads in this locality and is predominantly used by jasmine farmers every day to carry flowers to Tiruchy markets. Traffic along this road begins at 4 a.m. and goes on till 10 am. In spite of this, no effort has been taken by the highways department to widen the road," said Vayalur N Rajendran, a farmer leader from the area.
"Buses connecting different villages in Manikandam revenue block also travel through this route. If two buses come at the same time it would create a huge traffic jam. We have already appealed to the district administration for this yet no action has been taken," he added.
Speaking to TNIE, Adavathur Panchayat president K Dhanalakshmi said, "We have already submitted a request to widen the road to the state highways. We are hopeful that work will start soon." When TNIE reached out to an official from the state highways department, he said, "The particular road has been under state highways for the last ten years in the Other District Road (ODR) category. We have already given a proposal for the road extension but it is yet to be sanctioned by the state government."