Encroachments by commercial establishments have reduced Paper Mills Road to half of its original width. No concrete steps yet to remedy this. T.S. Atul Swaminathan reports

Nothing seems to be done about the delay in widening Paper Mills Road. Encroachers are not being evicted from this busy stretch which is marked by large-scale commercial activity.

During the rush hour, a stream of vehicles pour down this road, made narrower by encroachments by shops and haphazard parking, making it one of the most difficult and dangerous stretches to navigate for motorists and pedestrians.

 “The original width of the road has been reduced to half by commercial establishments and small shops,” says R. Ramesh, a resident of Perambur.

But the traders do not think they have encroached upon the road space. “We have been running our businesses here for the past 20 years. If the road has to be widened to ease the traffic congestion, we should be compensated.

The Chennai Corporation should issue the property owners, Development Rights Certificate. As per the Development Rights Certificate, an additional Floor Space Index (FSI) should also be allocated, say groups formed by traders on this stretch.

“We have the ‘patta’ (documents) to prove that the land area has been given ownership rights in the landownership documents,” they added.

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by L. T. William Moses of TVK Nagar in Madras High Court seeking to issue a directive to the Chennai Corporation and the authorities concerned to widen the Paper Mills Road, Perambur, from Perambur Church to Retteri Junction to ease the burgeoning vehicular population.

The Madras High Court ordered the Chennai Corporation to take necessary steps to widen the Paper Mills Road.

Regarding removal of encroachments, it directed the corporation to take necessary action with the police.

The Chennai Corporation Council passed a resolution to acquire 17,700 square metre of private land on Paper Mills Road for road-widening works.

Apart from these, no concrete measures have been taken to widen the road.

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