According to sources, the road has been reconstructed at least five times within a span of two years but it gets destroyed in every rain.
VELLORE: Around six months ago, residents of Agaramcheri village in Gudiyatham constructed a 300-metre-long mud road across the Palar river connecting the place to Melalathur village. During the rain on Monday, one part of the road has been washed away causing difficulties for over 2,000 commuters. Further, the villagers alleged that the officials destroyed the remaining two parts of the mud road with an earth mover in order to ensure a better flow of river water.
According to sources, the road has been reconstructed at least five times within a span of two years but it gets destroyed in every rain. Without a proper pathway over this river, accessing government offices or hospitals in Gudiyatham would require a journey of 15 to 20 km. The mud road brings down the distance to 8 km and travel time is reduced by one hour.
As per the residents, their long-standing request for a permanent bridge has not been considered by the authorities. Two years ago when Vellore district was divided into three — Vellore, Ranipet, and Tirupattur — Agaramcheri, which was previously in close proximity to Tirupattur, was incorporated into the Vellore under Gudiyatham municipality. Therefore, all government offices were in faraway locations for the residents. They said, the former Vellore collector had assured to construct a bridge across the river to address this issue, but nothing happened.
Some of the residents also allege that the bridge construction is deliberately delayed in order to support sand quarry work in the area. The village counsellor said, as per regulations, there is ban on sand quarry operations in riverbeds within a 500 m radius of any bridge.
Vellore Collector P Kumaravel Pandian said, “The mud road was constructed in an unauthorised manner by the public. A month ago, the water resources department initiated a hydrology study here and the report is expected to be received within 15 days. Decision on the bridge construction will be based on this report.”