Even as the work to concrete the Kuppam Beach Road in Thiruvanmiyur, which connects Jayaram Street in the east and East Mada Street in the west, nears completion, the exercise has sparked a debate among residents. Senior citizens Sundar Rajan and Anushya are for concrete surfaces, because they provide a firm footing for them.

“The grip is good and we feel safe walking on concrete roads,” they say. Rajamani, a vegetable vendor, welcomes the move to turn Kuppam Beach Road into a cement road – for an entirely different reason, though.

“Earlier, the stretch was full of potholes, now it looks good,” he says. The owner of a grocery shop agrees with this vegetable vendor.

Another resident Kannan, who has a tailoring unit on the street, prefers a bitumen-topped road. “A cement surface is always dusty and the dust blows in the wind,” he explains. “I need to clean the shelves of my shop many a time every day because dust keeps gathering. He shows some of the dark-coloured fabrics where dust could be seen.”

Resident Kanaga Valli also prefers a tar road.

“The heat emanating from the cement surface is unbearable. We often keep watering the cement surface in front of the threshold of our house. Moreover, a few minor accidents have occurred as no speed-breakers are in place,” she said.

Indhumathi said that proper systems should be in place to ensure that water did not get stagnant either within the compound wall of the house or on the road.

“But for the platforms, the road is ideal,” she added. Vetri, who owns a mechanic workshop, prefers tar road but is also okay with the cement road if proper slopes are provided.

“That will make it easy for me to move the vehicles in and out of the house. As of now, I am managing with a concrete slab,” he said

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