Residents of areas adjoining roads intersecting at Mandaveli Junction were at loggerheads on the issue of alignment of a proposed grade separator at a public hearing organised by Chennai Corporation on Monday.
The civic body had opted for constructing a flyover connecting Venkatakrishna Road and South Canal Bank Road to ease congestion at Mandaveli Junction, dropping a proposal to construct the flyover on R.K. Mutt Road to prevent demolition of hundreds of homes and commercial buildings.
However, at the public consultation, representatives of at least 69 households on a stretch covering Venkatakrishna Road and South Canal Bank Road opposed the move to construct the two-lane grade separator on the road. Some of them interrogated the Corporation for failing to construct the grade separator on R.K.Mutt Road.
“The flyover will affect more than 60 houses in our neighbourhood. It involves land acquisition. But the actual traffic congestion is on R.K. Mutt Road. The flyover proposal on our road should be dropped,” said a resident of South Canal Bank Road.
The Rs.110-crore flyover will be 8.5-metre wide with 5.5-metre wide service roads on either side. Pieces of private and government land measuring 2,900 sq m will be acquired for the project. Portions of government lands including the bus terminus in Mandaveli (35.19 sq m), Raja Annamalaipuram post office (28.63 sq m), MTC Depot (11.46 sq m), Office of the Commissioner and Director of Industries and Commerce (114.92 sq m) and Adyar Canal (50.96 sq m) will be acquired for the grade separator.
“The largest number of vehicles passes through South R.K.Mutt Road. The flyover should have been constructed on R.K. Mutt Road. But such an alignment will lead to the demolition of a large number of homes on a 1.5-km portion of R.K. Mutt Road. As per the alternative proposal, ramps will connect just 900 m of a stretch from Grand Sweets to Chennai Corporation Playground,” said the consultant for the project.
“As many as 9,038 cars cross the junction during rush hour. So, a grade separator is needed to reduce traffic congestion in the neighbourhood,” he added.
Mayor Saidai Duraisamy said the State government has ordered a study of 24 junctions for grade separators. “Construction of grade separators in eight junctions will begin soon. We will construct grade separators without demolishing buildings. We have reduced the width of the grade separator to prevent demolition of homes.”