After the battering that many roads in the city took during the recent rain, relaying and repair work is being carried out in some of them. Simultaneously, an effort to decongest city traffic is being made.
These measures are being undertaken to implement some of the recommendations made by a high-powered committee set up by the Deputy Chief Minister.
An implementation committee has been set up under the Additional Commissioner of Police (Enforcement). Officials from the Chennai Corporation, Highways Department, Transport Department and Chennai City Traffic Police will inspect the structures and facilities raised in the committee report. All the departments concerned are being involved to improve coordination and action will be taken on a priority basis.
“Bus shelters on triangular junctions will be relocated, said Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Shakeel Akhter. “There must be a distance of separation of at least 50 metres between a bus shelter and a junction. Bus shelters bang opposite to each other on either side of the road have to be relocated as well.”
He added that certain roads would be made completely no parking zones. “We have also given proposals to install signals at about 30 junctions. All junctions must be signalised to improve traffic flow.”
While welcoming the move, Raj Cherubal, coordinator, City Connect, an NGO working on improving traffic and transport conditions in Chennai, said that at present 50 per cent of the road capacity is unutilised purely because of bad design.
“Apart from relocating bus shelter, a separate lane must be provided for buses just at the bus stop to improve traffic flow. For similar reasons, the geometry of important junctions can be changed a bit to include a right turn lane. All of this can be achieved by moving the median a bit at certain places,” he said.
The area traffic control and synchronised signalling proposed to come up near the upcoming Assembly complex must be extended to other important junctions to monitor traffic flow at a macro level, he added.
A senior professor at the Department of Transportation, Anna University, said measures to remove or relocate obstructions while improving carriage space would also lead to better facilities for pedestrians.
He, however, said that road planning in future must involve better engineering and be more holistic. “Space allocation for lamp posts, EB transformers and electrical posts has to be made before the road is laid. Some kind of standards has to be evolved.”
Keywords: roads, rain, relaying, repair, decongest, city traffic, no parking zones, NGO, design, synchronised signalling, Department of Transportation, EB transformers, electrical posts, standards, Chennai