8 highways cry out for repair

Eight highways in the state are in very poor conditions with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) ignoring the State Highways Department’s (SHD) demand to pay for the road repair works.

The NHAI had written to the SHD to take over the maintenance of the eight roads, as it did not have enough manpower to maintain it.

The highways are Vikravandi – Panruti – Kumbakonam Road, Coimbatore – Mettupalayam Road, Nagapattinam – Thanjavur road, Padi – Thiruninravur stretch of Madras Tiruvallur Highroad, Tiruchy – Chidambaram road, Peranbalur – Manamadurai Road, Thiruvanathapuram – Kanyakumari Road and the Mettupalayam – Ooty Road.

A senior SDH official said that all the roads were in good-motorable condition when they had been handed over to the NHAI to develop them under the National Highways Development project (NHDP) in 2005. But the NHAI neither developed the roads under the NHDP nor maintained it.

“We have asked the NHAI to pay Rs 234 crore to restore the 770 km stretch of the eight roads to a motorable condition,” the official said, adding that the NHAI was yet to respond to its letter demanding payment for road repairs.

However, the official said that last week the NHAI had communicated that it would maintain the Vikravandi – Panruti – Kumbakonam road, Coimbatore – Mettupalayam road and Nagapattinam – Thanjavur road as the tendering process had reached an advanced stage to take up works under NHDP.

While it wants the SHD take over other roads for the time being, the official said that they would respond to the letter in a couple of days.

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