Uppar bridge yet to become a reality

Lack of proper planning put the infrastructure work on the back burner for several years

The inordinate delay in completing the construction of a bridge over Uppar drain, conceived 15 years ago to ease traffic congestion inside Puducherry town, is turning into a matter of concern for local residents.

In 2006, the government gave its nod to construct a bridge over the Uppar drain to regulate traffic on Anna Salai and Kamaraj Salai.

The plan was to build a 7.3-km bridge over the drain with a 7.5-m wide two-lane carriage way and 1.5-m wide raised pavements on either side with service ducts beneath them.

But lack of planning had put the work on the back burner for several years. The arm of the bridge is yet to be connected to Marimalai Adigal Salai near the New Town and Kamaraj Salai near the Balaji Theatre.

“For the last six years at least, no work has taken place. How could such a mega infrastructure project be left incomplete after spending crores of rupees. It is a clear case of bad planning,” said Rakesh, a resident of Rainbow Nagar.

The project could be of immense help to people residing in Rainbow Nagar, Saram, Venketa Nagar, Krishna Nagar and nearby places to travel to the Cuddalore Road or reach New Bus Stand. Once the project is completed, residents need not take the Anna Salai route and can avoid two signals to travel on the Cuddalore Road stretch or the New Bus Stand, he added.

In future, the works department should set a deadline for completing infrastructure projects and should put the onus on the officers involved in the planning of such works, said R. Jagannathan, a resident of Lawspet.

The speedy execution of the work has also become necessary as the accumulation of debris near the construction site was blocking easy flow of rainwater.

Adjacent residential areas such as Nehru Nagar, Bharathidasan Street, J. V. S Nagar and Sahayamadam Padasala Street get inundated very fast. At least the government should clear the debris and the accumulated waste before the onset of monsoon, said local legislator Nehru alias Kuppusamy.

Fresh bids

According to a senior official, the government has decided to close the work allotment given to the contractor and invite fresh bids to complete the remaining part of the work. The government was planning to approach HUDCO for a loan of ₹19 crore to execute the project, the official said.

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