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HomeEquipmentEquipment NewsAudit finds 35 accident-prone spots on Trichy-Karur NH

Audit finds 35 accident-prone spots on Trichy-Karur NH

National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has identified 35 accident-prone spots on the Trichy-Karur National Highway (NH 81) in a safety audit it conducted last year. In the last five years, at least 100 people have lost their lives and 335 have sustained grievous injuries in accidents on the NH, a crucial highway interlinking the central and western districts of Tamil Nadu.

However, road safety activists have said that the audit report is not comprehensive enough to prevent further accidents since a key demand for a vehicular underpass (VuP) at Thirupparaithurai, a vulnerable spot, has not been considered.

NHAI said that most of the victims of accidents that occurred between 2020 and 2024 (till April) on the 63km-long NH were two-wheeler riders and pedestrians. Considering the fatalities, it deputed a safety audit team comprising experts to study the conditions and suggest corrective measures.

The report recently submitted to NHAI Trichy project implementation unit (PIU) identified 35 accident-prone points. Short-term suggestions such as installation of crash barriers, safety blinkers and streetlights have been made. NHAI has already completed corrective measures at 14 accident-prone points, and 21 more are to be streamlined. A new vehicular underpass (VuP) is suggested to regulate traffic near Kulithalai in Karur district.

While most of the narrow stretches of Trichy-Karur NH passing along the Cauvery river bank are in Trichy district, activists lamented that proposals to prevent accidents, such as widening the highway are missing in the suggestions.

“We are unhappy with the audit report as it was conducted during non-peak hours. Thirupparaithurai on the NH has multiple schools, so a VuP is essential. But the report seems to have missed it,” K Thangaraj, a retired Indian Air Force officer from Trichy, said.

Activists said that NHAI should make use of space available in Perugamani and Sirugamani villages in Trichy district to widen the carriageway with a median. They also identified the 23-km long stretch of the NH between Pettaivaithalai and Kudamurutti bridge near Trichy city as highly vulnerable and sought special attention from NHAI. While activists demand widening the NH with median to prevent head-on collisions during overtaking, NHAI cites space constraints as a challenge.

Some parts of the NH are sandwiched between railway tracks and Cauvery river bank. “Whatever the safety audit has suggested, we will cross examine the proposals and take up corrective measures to prevent fatal accidents,” a senior NHAI official told TOI. He added that the cost estimate for the new VuP near Kulithalai will be drawn up before July.

Road users urged the NHAI and Trichy district administration to relocate an overhead tank (OHT) close to the Trichy-Karur NH at Thirupparaithurai to get space to widen the narrow highway.

The OHT with a capacity to store 1 lakh litres of drinking water is situated near the Thirupparaithurai bus stop. A decade ago, NHAI mooted a proposal to demolish it after building a new one near Ramakrishna Tapovanam School. A borewell was dug at the site and the electricity connection was given, but since then the project has been in limbo.

Seeking the demolition of the old OHT, road safety activists said it is a standalone structure on the stretch and it could pose a risk of overspeeding vehicles colliding into it. “The district administration should identify the reason for the inordinate delay in completing the works for the new tank. If the old tank is demolished, NHAI could widen the carriageway and provide a centre median,” P Aiyarappan, a member of the district road safety council, said.

Officials with the district rural development agency said that the contractor entrusted to build the new tank left the works incomplete. “We will ask the NHAI to complete the pending works and commission the new tank,” an official said

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