Only 40 % of work on the Mint and Cochrane Basin Road facilities completed
Before October, residents of north Chennai can expect smoother traffic flow with a flyover in Mint junction, a rail over-bridge at Cochraine basin road and road under-bridge at Monegar Chowltry Road – slated for completion by September end. The Rs.34.16 crore Villivakkam subway, whose service roads are to be laid, is expected to be completed this month end.
“We have asked the contractors to complete the works as soon as possible. In each of these works, other departments are also involved. We are reviewing each work almost on a daily basis. Wherever required, we are taking night work also. Last week in just 48 hours we shifted Metrowater lines in Mint and we ensured that residents were not put to trouble,” said an official of the Chennai Corporation.
Though only around 40 per cent of the work has been completed in the Mint and Cochrane Basin Road facilities, the civic body has set a deadline of August and September respectively for their completion. The work to construct the Rs.16.66-crore rail over-bridge at the junction of Kathivakkam High Road-Cochrane Basin Road began in November 2007. The Rs. 23 crore project to construct a four-lane flyover at Mint connecting Old Jail Road and Basin Bridge Road began in June 2010. A resident of Old Pensioners lane in Mint, Abdul Halim said, “Several works in north Chennai are delayed. Unlike in the south where residents are more pro-active, people here are afraid to ask questions. They just accept ‘no-work' and ‘slow work' as a fact of life. The Chennai Corporation too does not bother to complete their works on schedule and only give reasons for delays.”
Corporation officials attribute the delays in various projects to land acquisition, delay in completion of Southern Railway portion of work and also shifting of utilities in various projects.
The ‘Y' shaped Rs. 24.18 crore Rangarajapuram flyover, whose other arm which will land in Subramania Nagar in Kodambakkam is expected to be completed in June with the Southern Railway completing their portion of the work in February. One arm connecting Bazullah Road in T. Nagar to Railway Border Road in Kodambakkam was thrown open by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in September 2011. The work order for the construction of the 962-metre-long flyover was issued in January 2008.
“The completed arm is very useful for one who wants to avoid the old Kodambakkam bridge. I use it regularly to reach Kodambakkam without much trouble and there is no traffic. If the other side is opened, I can avoid getting into West Mambalam through congested Usman Road and Doraiswamy subway,” said K. Ramanan, a resident of Tod Hunter Nagar Saidapet. Three more minor bridges totally costing Rs.7.79 crore – two across Otteri Nullah at Narasimhan Nagar and another connecting N and O Blocks in Anna Nagar and one across Captain Cotton Canal – are expected to be completed by July end.
Meanwhile, three minor bridges completed at a total cost of Rs.7.93 crore that will nevertheless help ease congestion in various parts of the city are ready for inauguration. The Rs.3.38 crore and 150-mt long two-lane flyover has been constructed across the Cooum river. The Rs.3.12 crore bridge connecting Indira Nagar and Rajiv Gandhi Salai and the Rs.1.43 crore bridge at Pari Street near MMDA bus terminus have been completed too. The Indira Nagar bridge has encroachments on one side.
G. Muthukumaran, a resident of Sarangapani Street in Metha Nagar said if the bridge was opened, it would take him just 5 minutes to reach Harrington Road to reach his children's school. “There is continuous traffic on Nelson Manickam Road and even in the afternoon it takes me 20 minutes to reach the school. If the bridge is opened it would help many residents in the area,” he said.