The Rs. 117-crore flyover coming up at the junction of Poonamallee High Road and Anna Nagar 3 Avenue seems to be jinxed.
First, work to demolish Anna Arch that came in the way of the alignment was taken up, but this was delayed due to a number of reasons.
Then, the government decided to retain the arch and decided to change the alignment of the flyover. As the new design is yet to be finalised, the pillars constructed along 3 Avenue are awaiting the government’s decision.
However, a new problem has cropped up — students of the Government Siddha Medical College, Government Yoga & Naturopathy Medical College and Government Unani Medical College all in the Arignar Anna Government Hospital for Indian Medicine — are now protesting.
Under the revised design, construction of the flyover would lead to the demolition of the outpatient/inpatient blocks of the hospital, and the students are urging the government to drop this part of the plan.
On Thursday, several students staged a dharna inside their college campus. The Highways Department, which is constructing the flyover, had decided to shift one arm of the facility slightly towards the east thus taking up more space inside the hospital to retain the Anna Arch. “This is a famous hospital. Hundreds of patients, who believe in native remedies, visit this facility. If it is demolished, it would put them to unnecessary hardship,” said a student, who suggested that the flyover’s arm be shifted away from the hospital.
Students are also worried about their examinations that are to be held soon. “Our practical exams are yet to be conducted. This is a very crucial time for us and the hospital cannot be demolished now,” said a student.
Student representatives said they had resorted to the agitation as they had seen reports in the media stating that the college buildings would be demolished.
Sources in the administration said the students had been told their buildings would not be demolished without alternative arrangements. “The students seem to have been misled by reports that appeared last month in a section of the media. We have forwarded their petitions to the Health Department,” said a source.
Sources in the Highways Department said that the new design for the arm of the flyover that would allow traffic from Parry’s Corner to enter Anna Nagar was now being prepared.