For several months now, residents of Korattur and Ambattur have had little choice but to travel in inching traffic on the narrow, slushy causeway that links Aavin Dairy Road in the industrial estate with Korattur.
The hardship has been caused by an inordinate delay in widening the floodwater channel bringing water to Korattur lake and replacing the causeway over the channel with a bridge.
The causeway has become a crucial link for many residents and people working in the Ambattur industrial estate. On an average, nearly 4,000-5,000 vehicles, including lorries travelling to the Aavin dairy and various industrial units, use the stretch every day.
S. Karunakaran, a resident of Korattur, said several people use this road as an alternative route to avoid the congested Chennai Tiruvallur High Road. MTC buses also take the road. “It is chaos on this stretch especially during peak morning and evening hours as vehicles vie for space. Work is progressing at a snail’s pace and only half the stretch is motorable,” he said.
Travelling on the narrow causeway is a risky affair for motorists, especially during the nights as there is no street lighting or a barricade separating the road and channel.
Officials of the Water Resources Department (WRD) said the work to widen the stretch of Aavin Dairy Road that crosses the channel could not be carried out due a delay in shifting the underground electricity cables running along the road. “We have paid a deposit of nearly Rs. 1.5 crore to the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation authorities in March. But, there were no takers for the tender that has been called for thrice,” said an official.
Work to shift the electricity cables and run them through a duct is being carried out. Once it is completed in a week, the project to construct a bridge and widen the portion of the road from the existing width of 7.5 metre to 10.5 metre, including footpaths, will commence. “We plan to complete the project by mid-September,” the official said.
An 840-metre-long box culvert is also being constructed from First Street in the north phase of the estate to mitigate the problem of inundation whenever the Ambattur lake is full. The entire project is set to be completed in two months.
The work to construct a bridge across the channel transporting floodwater from the Ambattur industrial estate to Korattur lake is part of a project to improve the surplus channel linking Ambattur and Korattur lakes and minimise flooding in the neighbouring areas. The Rs. 19.63-crore project is being executed by the WRD under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.