The State government has accorded sanction for acquiring land to widen the 22 km-long portion of the Chennai-Tiruvallur Road to six lanes. It had recently granted Rs. 168 crore for acquiring lands along the road, which runs from Padi to Thiruninravur. The Chief Minister in April had announced that the road would be made into a six lane facility.

The two- lane road passes through Mannurpet, Korattur, Ambattur Industrial Estate, Ambattur OT, Thirumullavoyal, Sekkadu, Nadukuthagai and Nemilicheri and carries over 45,000 vehicles every day. Sources in the Highways Department, which has been maintaining the stretch after the National Highways Authority of India handed it over to the State, said that tenders were being scrutinised for widening the road into a four-lane facility. “We expect that work will commence soon. It will be completed in nine months. During this time, the land acquisition process would be taken up for making the road into a six-lane facility. Currently, the land plan schedule, which gives the requirement for the widening, is being prepared,” the source explained.

There are hundreds of shops along the road and the shopkeepers had objected to the six-laning. However, residents have been clamouring for widening the narrow road that is accident prone.

Pattabhiram resident T. Sadagopan said that shops selling spare parts and machine tools could perhaps be moved inside the Ambattur Industrial estate. “It would be a win-win situation for the shopkeepers and industrial units which use the tools,” he said.

Many shops also encroach upon the road, thus denying pedestrians their space, said Korattur resident S. Rajagopalan.

“The vehicles are parked haphazardly. Recently, encroachments were removed. But the government must ensure that they don't return. After the recent rains, more potholes have developed on the road. Even otherwise, it is very difficult for motorists to negotiate the road,” he said.

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