Thudiyalur residents oppose Rs 20-cr rail over-bridge project

Coimbatore: The fate of rail over-bridge at Thudiyalur hangs in balance with residents refusing to give up their land for the Rs 20 crore project that would ease truck and container traffic on Irugur main road. At least 62 residents would have to part with their land for the project.
Residents said there was no need for the rail over-bridge that would connect NGGO Colony and Teachers Colony. “Our opinions were not considered before the project was proposed, studied or approved,” a resident said.

Earlier this year, the highways department had sanctioned funds for a 900m-long rail over-bridge above Thudiyalur railway crossing level. As per the plan, it would start at South Indian Bank on NGGO Colony Road and end at Asian Paints office at Teachers Colony.

“Trucks to and from Kovilpalayam always take this route. This is in addition to traffic from Saravanampatty. Traffic snarls are a common sight whenever level crossing gates are closed,” a highways department official said, adding, “The rail over-bridge will allow traffic to flow freely.”

The NGGO Colony Road is 60ft wide. Besides the bridge, the highways department needs to construct service lanes on either side of it. The proposed service lane is 18ft wide, district revenue officials said indirectly hinting at the need to acquire land for the project.

“The project requires officials to acquire 16ft land on either side of the road,” said Pradeep Raj, a landowner. “Many of us have constructed shops and houses on the stretch. We have rented out the shops to make a living and settle loans. The plan to take away our shops and land on which our houses are located isn’t justifiable,” he said.

J Nalini, a widowed mother, said she would lose two bedrooms and portico of her house to the project. “If I lose my house, where will I live with my daughter?” she asked.

Residents, who have bought apartments on the stretch for Rs 40 lakh hardly three years ago, are also faced with the same problem. “The marking comes right up to our kitchens. We will lose our balconies and kitchens. This is when we are yet to settle loans taken for buying the apartment,” they said.

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