Pillars of elevated Metro Rail stations in Ekkattuthangal and Arumbakkam have taken up the carriageway
Motorists plying on Jawaharlal Nehru Salai complain that the stretches along Ekkattuthangal and Arumbakkam have become narrower due to Metro Rail work.
This had led to severe traffic jams during peak hours, commuters said. In both these places, about 1.5 lane space has been lost as pillars have come up on the carriageway.
“These are spots where the elevated stations of Metro Rail are coming up, and there are pillars on either side. It takes about 20 minutes to clear that stretch during rush hour. During the rains, there are massive traffic jams here,” said Hariharan, a resident of Anna Nagar, who commutes to Guindy regularly.
T. Gunaseelan, a resident of Ambattur, said the government should consider acquiring more land on the sides of the road to ensure free movement of traffic. “Once complete, Metro Rail is expected to reduce traffic but one must also take into consideration the ever-increasing vehicular population. In the future, we will more buses and bicycles. We need space for that too,” he said.
According to the Guindy traffic police, the bad condition of the stretch between Olympia Tech Park and Hilton Hotel is a major reason for the slow movement of traffic. “If the road were relaid, it would help in smoother traffic flow,” an officer said.
V.E. Subramanian of Traffic and Transportation Forum said, nearly 80 per cent of the city’s traffic plied on 14 major roads in the city, and Jawaharlal Nehru Salai was one among them.
“The government is not concentrating enough on improving these roads. Though we cannot widen roads, we need to ensure maximum usage of road space and footpaths,” he said.
When contacted, Highways Department sources said they were aware of the problem. “We have received complaints from motorists about the reduced lane space. We have taken up the issue with Metro Rail,” he said.
Sources in CMRL said there would be been no deviation from the original proposal.