The Chennai traffic police ‘slowed’ vehicles down on the busy stretch to allow convoy of Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah, and the British deputy high commissioner, Mike Nithavrianakis, to proceed

Traffic was hit for more than five hours on Rajiv Gandhi Salai (Old Mahabalipuram Road) on Friday evening, between Madhya Kailash and Sholinganallur, a distance of 15 km.

The traffic police had ‘slowed’ vehicles down on the busy stretch to allow the convoy of Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah, and the British deputy high commissioner, Mike Nithavrianakis, to proceed. The governor and Mr. Nithavrianakis were on their way to inaugurate a global cancer institute and advanced radiation therapy machine unit at Global Hospitals in Perumbakkam.

Motorists were not allowed to use the stretch from Madhya Kailash to Sholinganallur from 4 p.m. — an hour before the programme was due to begin at the hospital. This was to ensure that there was no hindrance to the governor’s convoy that had begun from Raj Bhavan.

“Around 4 p.m., there was not much traffic on the stretch. But when the governor was returning later in the evening, traffic got held up as we had to stop all vehicles to allow the convoy to pass through,” said a traffic police officer at Sholinganallur.

“Even State-run buses and ambulances had to wait for hours along the stretch. Putting residents to such hardship is unwanted and uncalled for,” said K. Hariharan, an employee of Polaris who was on the road in the evening.

Home to more than 240 software companies with a combined staff strength of around 1.2 lakh professionals, Rajiv Gandhi Salai, also known as the IT Corridor, which extends from Madhya Kailash to Siruseri – a distance of 20.1 km, is one of the busiest and most accident-prone stretches in the city.

Motorists using the stretch have to contend with traffic chaos every day due to a prolonged delay in the ongoing road expansion work on the stretch. On Friday this was made worse as motorists were only able to use only the centre of the stretch as both ends have been dug up to lay stormwater drains. Also, since it was the last working day of the week, all IT professionals were headed towards their homes in the city.

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