The four-lane road overbridge will replace level crossing near Kancheepuram railway station
The highways department has proposed a revised alignment for the construction of a four-lane road over bridge that will replace level crossing-29 near Kancheepuram railway station.
According to sources, the change in alignment was necessitated after the Archaeological Survey of India objected to the alignment that ran close to two protected monuments, the Iravadeeswarar and Piravaadeeswarar temples.
Under the new alignment, the road overbridge will land 50 metres beyond the restricted area.
“We have planned to take it along the Ponneri lake, which belongs to the PWD. This will minimise the need for land acquisition. However, the alignment is awaiting clearance from the high-level committee after which the railways has to clear it. We are also proposing a pedestrian facility at the level crossing,” said a source.
The cost of the new four-lane ROB has been estimated at Rs. 70 crore and a fraction of it will be borne by the Southern Railway.
The earlier proposal was to construct a two-lane facility, an official said.
However, with the spurt in train and vehicular traffic on the Chennai–Ponnerikarai–Kancheepuram line, it has now been proposed to make a wider ROB, capable of accommodating more traffic.
Five years ago, the TVU (Train vehicle Unit, which is the number of trains multiplied by the number of vehicles crossing the point) was just over one lakh. But in December 2012 that number touched 5.60 lakh, say officials.
S. Saravanan, a resident of Kumar Street in Rangasamy Kulam area, said, in the last two years, the quantity of traffic at the level crossing had increased manifold. “Evenings are worse when a lot of people working at Parandhur, Vedal and nearby areas return home. The road is in a bad shape near the level crossing and it is very narrow, which is another reason for traffic jams,” he said.
V. Panneerselvam, railway board member, said construction of a road overbridge at this crucial location had become imperative. He pointed out that the temple town had witnessed a steady growth in the number of business establishments, educational institutions and an expansion in industrial activity at Cheyyar Industrial Estate near Maangal on Kancheepuram Vandavasi Road.
These factors had also resulted in an increase in real estate activity within and around the town, he said.