Coimbatore (CBE): The Nanjundapuram rail over bridge (ROB) was launched by CM J Jayalalithaa through video conferencing on Tuesday. Buses were operated through the route connecting the city with Podanur after six years, though the bridge was unofficially opened to private vehicles five months ago. However, the laying of service roads are yet to be completed. A group of residents planned to boycott the 2016 assembly elections.
The state highways department started construction on the ROB on February 2, 2010 and it was scheduled to be completed in 18 months. But the entire work was completed only by January 2015.
According to the highways department officials, the length of the bridge is 690 meters. The railway department was responsible for constructing 38 meters of the bridge on the railway crossing. The width of the bridge is 7.5 meters. The total expenditure (including railway’s expenses) has touched 18.6 crore. During the construction work, the state highways department had laid a 3km diversion road to travel from Ramanathapuram to Nanjundapuram.
The bridge was opened for public use unofficially in January. But buses were not allowed to use the ROB.
Following the inauguration ceremony on Tuesday, district collector Archana Patnaik and AIADMK MLA R Chinnasamy distributed sweets to the public.
The state highways department claims not to have adequate funds to lay the service roads. Thus, the corporation has announced that it would spend 1.5 crore to develop the service road. However, no work has been done so far.
“More than 200 families residing at Trident Serenity apartments use the service road now to reach the Ramanathapuram – Nanjundapuram road. Corporation officials had approached us and requested us to pay our dues, while promising to provide all the facilities. Since we have not been given basic facilities for the past five years, we have not paid our taxes to the corporation,” said Rajesh Seshadri, president of the apartment association.
But the corporation did not hold good on its assurance. “We have lost faith in the corporation and thus have decided to boycott the 2016 elections,” he added. During the rainy season, using the service road becomes difficult. So, the corporation should come forward to lay the service roads, said G Charanjith Singh, a resident of Nanjundapuram.
K Kavitha from Devendra Street in Nanjundapuram, was working as a house maid. “I used to walk to my home from Ramanathapuram during the bridge construction work. After five years, the officials allowed the buses to use the bridge. It would help school children, women and elderly people to reach their residents,” said Kavitha.
A senior corporation official claimed that the corporation has not yet allotted funds for laying the service roads.