Thousands of unsuspecting commuters and road-users travelling from Poonamallee and Porur to Vadapalani were stranded for over two hours on Thursday as a portion of Arcot Road was cordoned off to repair a leaking Metrowater pipeline.
Commuters were stranded at bus stops and two-wheeler riders had a difficult time manoeuvring the stretch near Lakshmi Nagar in Valasaravakkam where repair work was taken up.
Metropolitan Transport Corporation officials at the Iyappanthangal depot said that on Thursday all its 140 bus services on the Poonamallee-Vadapalani sector were delayed by a minimum of 30 to 45 minutes. Bus services to and from Vadapalani, Porur, Valasarawakkam, and Poonamallee were affected.
Residents said that children of Corporation schools on the stretch, who depend on the buses to reach school, were most affected.
V. Senthil Kumar, a photographer who lives in Alapakkam, commutes by two-wheeler to his studio in Virugambakkam. “I left home at 8 in the morning and since a portion of the road was closed to traffic it took me two hours to reach the studio. A portion of Arcot Road near Lakshmi Nagar has been converted into a one-way stretch. Buses and cars could not move in or out of the road,” he said. Until late evening, work was in progress.
Chennai Metrowater officials said that on Wednesday night they detected a leak in the 1,200mm dia water pipeline which carries water from the Porur Lake to supply drinking water to localities in Valasaravakkam, Choolaimedu and K.K. Nagar. When the repair work began, the earth caved in causing delay in executing the work, officials said. However, water supply to the area was not affected.
Virugambakkam Residents' Welfare Association president S. Arumainathan said that widening Arcot Road, a demand that has been pending for several years, would have prevented the situation from getting out of hand.