The cycle track on Taramani Link Road, which was proposed to be showcased as a model road when the World Bank-funded expansion project was launched in 2009, is now out of bounds for cyclists and pedestrians due to encroachments.

Though one side of the road has been completed with the track and a stormwater drain, the facilities have been encroached by shops located on the highly commercialised road.

R. Bhuvan Kumar, a resident of Gandhi Road, Velachery, said the concretised cycle track is often used as parking space by big commercial establishments and for storing the materials of the numerous shops located on both sides of the road.

The stretch at Taramani, which is dotted with hundreds of petty shops, has particularly become a source of nuisance. These houses that double as shops have encroached upon the newly constructed footpath and cycle track and have illegally connected their sewage lines to the stormwater drain. In several places, the concrete slabs of the cycle track have been damaged or removed.

The expansion project of the 3.5-kilometre road, an important link road between Velachery and Rajiv Gandhi Salai, promised a 30.5-metre-wide road with a median, dedicated cycle track and stormwater drain.

M. Arivanandham, who uses the stretch to travel to his office in Adyar from Madipakkam, rued the slow progress of project that has gone past several deadlines since the work started in July 2009.

Residents of Velachery and motorists complained that the expansion project aimed at easing traffic congestion and flooding (a canal is being commissioned by the Public Works Department), has proved to be a bane for motorists. While on the one hand vehicular traffic is constantly on the rise, the canal that is meant to carry rainwater has even before the completion of the project become a sewage carrier.

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