Delay has led to severe difficulties, say residents of Korukkupet; road in shambles

For the past four years, residents of Korukkupet have been anxiously waiting for the completion of a road overbridge (ROB) on Cochrane Basin Road .

A ROB has been under construction on this road, primarily a freight movement corridor, to replace a level crossing since 2009.

Residents of several areas in Korukkupet including Ambedkar Nagar, Meenambal Nagar, Bharathi Nagar, Sigirinthapalayam and Kamaraj Nagar have been facing difficulties owing to the delay in the completion of the overbridge.

They said the ROB has been pending for nearly six years now, as it was originally sanctioned in 2007.

“Every day, more than six goods trains ply on this stretch. There is no gate or guard posted at the level crossing. Motorists and pedestrians wait near the track for the trains to pass,” said Venkatesh, a resident.

“Some people just run across the tracks even when the train is nearing, while some do not even check if any train is headed their way. This is very risky and the delays have been causing more trouble day by day,” he said.

Residents said the road was filled with potholes and the rains worsened its already bad condition. It was impossible for ambulances and fire tenders to reach areas in case of emergencies, they said.

“We cannot take a pregnant woman in any vehicle on the road, as it is dotted with potholes. When we cross the tracks, our vehicles get caught in the potholes near the track. Many of us struggle to ride motorcycles on this stretch,” Kumaresan, a resident of Bharathi Nagar said.

“On the other side, if the level crossing near Korukkupet railway station closes, it takes at least half an hour for the train to pass and traffic to clear,” said Nagaraj, a shopkeeper on the stretch.

Lack of bus services is another problem for residents here. “Earlier, bus number 44C used to ply from IOC to Broadway. Now, the bus does not ply on this route owing to construction work. So residents mainly rely on share autorickshaws or walk up to Basin Bridge and Mint to board buses,” said Naresh Kumar, another resident.

Officials of Chennai Corporation said there had been a delay in land acquisition and work on the Railway portion of the ROB was pending.

“Efforts are being taken to speed up the work,” an official said.

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