Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Problems behind the Construction Of Ariankupam Bridge

I was traveling to a renowned temple at Cuddalore through the Ariankuppam Bridge. When I was crossing the bridge, I was stuck at a traffic jam. Many private busses ply from Pondicherry to Cuddalore. The area also nurtures several educational institutions, hospitals and industrial areas. So the old bridge is not able to host this heavy traffic. Records say that the work to replace the 150-year-old bridge was started in the year 2005 and it was suspended due to the paucity of funds. The work that was commenced three years back has ended up with only few columns and piers being laid.

The initial estimate of the bridge is Rs. 15 crores and this lethargy in the work will surely lead to the increase in the estimated cost. Meanwhile the columns of the new bridge had sinked. But the defect was rectified after getting suggestion from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. The problem of the sinking columns could have been avoided if the Public Works Department had conducted a proper study on the sand condition. The other aggravating problem is the big cracks that are formed on the either side of the old bridge and they pose a big threat to the people who pass the bridge. So the Government must take immediate steps to release the funds and it must also take measures to give the contract to the responsible persons.

The executive engineer of the National Highways division has said the reporters that the new bridge would handle four-way traffic and have adequate space for pedestrians. So let us all hope that this will take place in the near future.

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