National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has almost completed the four laning of Puducherry-Tindivanam highway. It maybe a pleasure to ride on the wide and smooth highway but the annual accident rate between TVM and Pondy may soon have a boost. The highway has got a green median in the middle separating the up and down traffic. With flowering plants it certainly beautifies the road and is so wide that had it been a lane, a car can drive through it.
The core justification for the taxation system in India is raising funds for developing basic necessities like roads but ironically the govt is doing it through private sector and allowing the companies to collect toll from vehicles. The median space is also used to generate revenue through advertising. It cannot be forgotten that the lands for the highways are acquired by forcing people to sacrifice their properties at a fraction of the market rate. The ethical question of the government taking away lands at low cost from people in the name of public purpose and allowing business houses to make profit out of it is disturbing.
Being close to the newly widened highway to Pondy I can see one positive fallout. Those interested in morning jog now have an inviting smoother and safer stretch for getting fit. The service lanes are so good that a roller-skating school is conducting training for children. But it doesn’t seem this is going to last long, at least as good as it is now.
Some of the scenes on the highway: