Last year, the Chennai Corporation outdid itself. It made 100 announcements, raising residents’ expectations to a new high and allowing hope to bloom.
One year on, most of these promises remain unfulfilled, leaving residents frustrated and disappointed.
Announcements relating to stormwater drains, bridges, roads, parks, playgrounds, streetlights and pest control, for instance remain mostly on paper or have been begun but not finished, residents said.
“The Corporation announced the use of precast technology to complete drains quickly. Last month, they started digging for drains in some of the streets in our locality but are delaying the work now. This is causing a huge inconvenience to residents,” said M. Pushpa, a resident of St. Xavier Street in Mannady.
Of the estimated total expenditure of Rs. 2,922.73 crore in 2012-2013, the civic body allocated a considerable chunk — Rs. 404.53 crore — to the construction of stormwater drains and announced the introduction of precast technology to help avoid delays. But to date, the civic body has completed just 49 km of precast drains. The deadline for most of the projects has now been extended by the Corporation Council.
As many as 147.19 km of arterial drains, 229.37 km of feeder drains, and 95.61 km of collection drains were to be covered in the seven zones of the old city limits.
In his budget speech last year, Mayor Saidai Duraisamy announced the re-laying of 1,212 interior roads and 186 new concrete roads, which would be over 380 km in all. So far though, only 221 km of roads have been re-laid.
Another unfulfilled promise is the integrated call centre for the helpline 1913, meant to report civic issues. “We are still not able to report grievances properly. We have to repeatedly try the number to get through,” said N. Indirani, a resident of Chintadripet.
In 2012, the construction of seven small bridges was announced. Of these, work orders for six are yet to be issued. Also, the results of the feasibility study on seven grade separators have still not been tabled in the Corporation Council.
“Traffic congestion has increased considerably because of the improper planning of road junctions. It takes 20 minutes to cross junctions such as Sholinganallur, Tidel Park and Porur. Flyovers and bridges should be properly planned by the Corporation or at least coordinated with other agencies such as the Highways Department,” said V. Srinivasan, a resident of Adyar.
In an attempt to reclaim open spaces and make the city greener, the Corporation had also announced 100 parks and 50 playgrounds. But so far, work on just 24 playgrounds has been completed and a mere 23 parks have been readied.
A proposal to replace all tubelights in the city’s added areas too has fallen flat. These areas need over 1.1 lakh streetlights. The civic body though, has installed only 2,000 energy-saving lights and 101 LED lights.
The proposals are good residents say, but with incomplete constructions and endless delays, faith in the civic body is waning.