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17 Nov 2018, Edition - 1222, Saturday

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Public discontent over structure of Gandhipuram, Podanur and Ukkadam flyovers

Archana Rohit

Coimbatore: There is severe discontent among locals who are apprehensive about the structure of flyovers in Coimbatore. Gandhipuram, Podanur and Ukdam bridges all have their own set of challenges for the commuters.

President of Citizen's Voice Club C.M.Jayaraman says poor construction of bridges is the main cause for traffic congestion in the city. The Indian Road Congress should visit the flyovers with their respective engineers and should certify that they are safe for public use.

The Gandhipuram bridge has been remodified six times. If the rectification has been done so many times the purpose is defeated, money is wasted and safety is compromised."

The activists and industrialists say that the Gandhipuram bridge is steep because the design was completely changed after land acquisition failed. "This new design will serve no purpose and is a total waste of money," said Vanitha Mohan, President of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The parapet wall collapsed and crumpled to pieces of Podonur bridge after a minor accident. Residents of the buildings located close to the bridge are startled and doubt the quality of the newly constructed bridge and speculate if the bridge can withstand the weight of heavy vehicles.

Forty per cent of the bridge has been remodified. There is a manned level crossing near Chettipalayam road and buses go above the bridge. The purpose of the bridge should be questioned.

"I still use the under bridge. I feel the structure is compromised. It's just wastage of fuel to take the flyover. I also fear that the structure may collapse anytime" says a frequent road user A.Menon.

Ukkadam bridge is narrowest and heavy vehicles face a major issue. It's a mockery to have such a bridge in our city says an architect

Mr Jayaraman said,  it is disheartening to see that Coimbatore instead of having the best of engineering colleges have the worst structured bridges. Indian Road Congress monitoring body they should check the plan before the commencement of the job, periodically deploy engineers to check the upkeep of the bridge, if there are any deviation planning should be done only in discussion with them, taking safety norms of people and vehicles into consideration.

The structural changes should be made in consensus with engineers, architects and retired people who are highly knowledgeable in structural engineering. Their  opinion should be taken into account.

Above all the design should be placed in public places not kept on collectors table, it should be kept at a conspicuous place to increase the utility value of the bridges" he adds