The State government has sanctioned Rs. 260 crore towards land acquisition for the widening of the second phase of Old Mamallapuram Road. Phase II of OMR, which is currently a four-lane stretch with a median, will be widened into six lanes.
This 26.8 km stretch, under the charge of the State Highways Department, will run from Siruseri to Poonjeri, where it will join the East Coast Road. Two new by-passes have been planned to avoid areas that are urbanised and have too many buildings. The road will run through 13 revenue villages and nearly 200 acres of land are required to widen it. One by-pass, running to a length of 4.67 km, will come up in Padur and reach Thaiyyur-B village, by-passing Kelambakkam. Similarly, the other by-pass of 5.75 km will take off in Kalavakkam and join Vengaleri. It will by-pass Thiruporur and Thandalam.
Widening the road to six lanes and strengthening it is imperative, as a lot of development is taking place beyond Siruseri, which has a SIPCOT park. A large number of residential complexes and several colleges too have come up to Thiruporur, which also witnesses a high volume of traffic.
Phase I not complete
Though tolling operations on Rajiv Gandhi Salai (the stretch that runs from Madhya Kailash to Siruseri) began in December 2008, work on the road is yet to be completed. Residents complain that pedestrians are forced to walk on the road as the pavements are unfinished in many places. G. Sathish, a resident of Semmancheri said: “They collect toll fees but what kind of service are they providing? Water stagnates on the road when it rains, and streets leading from the road also get flooded. The road smacks of lack of planning. There is no traffic management. Too many accidents happen.”
According to sources in the Tamil Nadu Road Development Company, which manages Rajiv Gandhi Salai, work on the footpaths and service lanes are expected to be completed by the end of September.