Road Project to Tiruvannamalai at a stand-still


I have been reporting on the big road project that is to widen the road to Tiruvannamalai to 4-lanes from Krishnagiri west of Tiruvannamalai (for those coming from Bangalore) to Tindivanam to the east (for those traveling to or from Chennai and Pondicherry).

We were on the road several times recently and saw that work was at a stop. The last time, when we noticed what was not hapening on the road, we asked our taxi driver about it. He said that the workers were not being paid, so the work stopped. The most recent time we asked more detailed questions. What we heard was that the new Indian national government, under the BJP party, stopped paying Transstroy, the contractor working on the road. The driver said that  Transstroy’s owner was a supporter of the Congress party, and now that the BJP is in power, they want to use their friends for big money projects like this.  Maybe he was wrong about the motives; maybe BJP will bring in a new contractor who will do a great a quick job on the road. I don’t know what is really going on with this. Maybe some of you have a better idea and can let us all know?

I do not think the situation will be much different during the tourist season this year, or for Deepam.

Plan for delays due to slow roads

But for now, if you plan to travel to Tiruvannamalai, plan for continued delays. When we took the route from Tindivanam it took about 1 1/2 hours for the route. I think from Krishanagiri it is more than 2 hours now.

The bypass around Tiruvannamalai is also stopped, so DO NOT plan anything that goes through Tiruvannamalai on full moon nights, including coming into the city to go to your accommodations. You cannot get through the city at full moon.

Alternate Routes

You may want to consider alternate routes.

From Chennai, you have two options:

Through Vandavasi. Best alternate for airport travel. Small road all the way, fair condition, different scenery.

ScreenHunter_01 Sep. 02 11.36

Through Arcot (and Kanchipuram). Longer distance, much of the road from Arcot to Chennai is good 4-lane highway.

ScreenHunter_02 Sep. 02 11.39

For Pondicherry the best alternative is the southern one, through Tirukkoilur and Villupuram.

ScreenHunter_03 Sep. 02 11.54

From coming from Bangalore, I still the the best alternative is:  From Krishnagiri, head south on NIH-7 to Karimangalam, then generally east to Morappur, Hanur and then Tiruvannamalai. This route is reported to be faster, and less stressful.


Internet Petition

May I also suggest you sign the internet petition:

From the original email:

The 170Km stretch of NH66 between Krishnagiri and Tindivanam is the direct connecting route for people going between Bangalore and Tiruvannamalai or  Pondicherry. It is used daily by thousands of people, from the villages along the route and for inter-state travel. The road condition has been very bad for several years. The road widening project, for making it a 2 lane highway started 2 years back. According to the May report of NHAI, the 2-laning contract has been awarded to Transstroy India and the project is expected to complete by Sept 2014. Many trees lining the road have been felled, but the work is nowhere near completion and in the last few months there is no sign of any work taking place on this highway. The road condition is so bad with huge pot holes that even the government transport buses use an alternate road whereever possible, like Krishnagiri-Vellore-Polur. Most of the traffic tries to use alternate routes which increase the travel distance by 40-50Kms, making the travel time longer and results in wastage fuel. The government needs to prioritize this project and get it completed quickly.
You can sign my petition by clicking here. Please forward this to others who may be willing to sign the petition.
Shekar Ramamurthy



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13 Responses to “Road Project to Tiruvannamalai at a stand-still”

  1. rpodury Says:

    This is what NHAI villupuram gave in reply to my complaint few months back QUOTE
    Nhai Viluppuram NHAI has taken up the implementation of two lane with paved shoulders of the stretch from Tindivanam to Krishnagiri Section of NH-66 i.e. from Km.37/600 to Km.214/110. The work was entrusted to M/s. Transstroy Krishnagiri Tindivanam Highways Pvt. Ltd, Hyderabad. The Project is under implementation and the works are beyond the schedule date due to financial crisis of the Concessionaire. The Concessionaire has assured to take up the work from the month of October 2014. NHAI has taken effort to maintain the road in traffic worthy condition. UNQUOTE

    My response to the above reply today
    Thank you very much for the reply. The road is simply awful. Recently an old man opposite my house underwent an operation and had a heel of a time travelling from chennai to TNM even in a private car. The delay is inordinate and a genuine question that comes up is why the contract was not terminated and entrusted to another one.? You had no idea of suffering of lakhs of commuters against which you have given more weight to the inconvenience to the contractor . Whoever is responsible for the project has not been doing his duty and deserves severe punishment. I will share a message sent by a US national shortly which is sent to all foreign nationals warning them of travel in this route which brigs down our name in the eyes of many countries. For heavens sake share what action you have taken on the contractor. If not why? UNQUOTE

  2. Venkata Ramana Sarma Podury Says:

    It is not fair to blame BJP for the delay. They are 100days old. The project was stopped more than one year back. I have been travelling on the route. When I wrote in FB in NHAI site they simply forwarded the complaint to concerned GM who in turn informed that he was forwading it to the concerned. I wrote IN PM’s web also

    • Richard Clarke Says:

      If you know more of the history and facts about this, please let us know. Please.

      As far as the timing, I only know what I use, the eastern route. There was still work going on this route until we left for the US in April 2014. Good headway was evident each time I went over it, which was several times in early 2014. Then when we returned, early June, work had stopped, not to resume. I do not use the stretch, so I can;t say a about this. My wife took a bus trip over this a few weeks ago and reported that it was terrible.

      What ever is the cause, the delay is bad for Tamil Nadu and Tiruvannamalai. There are many millions of passenger trips over these roads every year as well as the east-west truck traffic between Bangalore and Chennai. There are costs of delays, lost time, and wear and tear on vehicles. There are probably more accidents, too. What is the cost of all this? Maybe there is lost tourist revenue as well? I am not an Indian citizen so there is little that I can do, other than mention the ongoing problem. What can Indians and Tamils do about problems in their own country? It sounds like your action got little response. What can be done?

  3. kalpa108 Says:

    twopaisa is correct – but don’t tell too many people! The Vettavalam road is beautiful, and by far the best way to Pondi too.

    • Richard Clarke Says:

      Have you tried to route to Pondi that goes through Tirukkoilur? What do you think of this way?

  4. Ronald Faraldo Says:

    is the inner path closed all months of the year?

  5. twopaisa Says:

    The very fact the Transtroy (or whoever) made dismal progress over the past three years is enough reason to give them the boot. The Congress party is reputed for its corrupt ways more than anything else. Hopefully a new contractor would be selected soon and work will restart. It couldn’t be any worse than the past three years. However, given the upcoming rainy season work resumption may not happen until Jan/Feb.

  6. twopaisa Says:

    The Kanchipuram route to Madras is long and tedious. It is far better to take the Vettavalam road and join the National Highway just outside Villipuram. There is one more highway toll booth prior to Tindivanam but it is well worth it. A total of about 27 extra kilometres compared to the Chenji-Tindivanam road but due to better road conditions it takes the same amount of time and the journey is much more comfortable..

  7. mysurreal Says:

    Thankyou sir! need of the hour!

  8. kalpa108 Says:

    With news like that concerning corruption/BJP/Transtroy its no surprise to learn from other sources that the BJP have been criticised recently for making few changes since May. Recent by-elections gave little support to the BJP also. It is very sad that corrupt politics enters into every facet of Indian life, and the people suffer. The non-By Pass here has eaten up thousands of acres of farmland and grazing pasture and now sits there as an ugly scar of wastage across the Tamil lands.

  9. ashokanjana2000 Says:

    Are you all still in India? We were so disappointed to hear that you are planning to leave us?
    Sent on my BlackBerry® from Vodafone

    • Richard Clarke Says:

      Stillin INdia for several more months.We love India.We will relocate to be closer to children and grand kids. 4 hrs in the plane instead of 24.

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