Residents on Rajiv Gandhi Salai and East Coast Road are a worried lot
Residents on Rajiv Gandhi Salai and the East Coast Road, two important highways leading to the city, are a concerned lot as accidents are quite common on several stretches of the roads.
On the ECR, described as the “scenic beach way' of Chennai, over-speeding and reckless driving is a major issue. Though the frequency of accidents had come down in the last few years, this highway continues to be a high risk zone, according to P.Ayyappan of Uthandi.
On stretches close to residential localities, traffic police have placed barricades to check over-speeding. However, residents are unhappy that there is very little policing of traffic offences to make the road safer from reckless motorists, especially weekend revellers. Booking some of them helps to reduce accidents, says Mr.Ayyappan.
On an average, around 12,000 vehicles use the road every day. When the project commenced around 5,000 vehicles plied on the ECR. The detailed project report for widening of the ECR to reduce accidents is expected to be completed shortly. The DPR would be submitted to the State government for its approval. As far as the Rajiv Gandhi Salai is concerned, vehicle-users and pedestrians say the main carriageway is still unfriendly. Multiple collusions and accidents involving jaywalking pedestrians were common on the road. The problem of accumulation of silt on the road margins and along the medians was not addressed, says G.Sathish of Sholiganallur.
Given the high toll collected from vehicles, services were far from satisfactory.
Formation of service lanes and construction of footpaths from SRP Tools junction to Siruseri in phase I is expected to be completed by the year end. “We have asked the contractor to speed up the work. Ducting in both sides has already been completed,” the official said.
Work on formation of phase II of Rajiv Gandhi Salai connecting Siruseri and Mamallapuram at a cost of Rs.550 crore is expected to commence next year. Land acquisition for the 25 km stretch has been completed so far in 11 of the 13 villages through which the road runs. To reduce traffic congestions, five flyovers have been proposed at an estimated cost of 668 crore.