Mud frequently falls off the vehicles, and with the lorries’ tyres running over it, the mud gets stuck to the surface of the road, especially after rains. It then dries up during the day and becomes a rock-hard obstruction on this important arterial road.
Lorries transporting mud to and from construction sites seem to be causing irreparable damage to the Pallavaram–Thoraipakkam Radial Road.
The nearly 11-kilometre radial connects Grand Southern Trunk Road in Pallavaram and Rajiv Gandhi Salai in Thoraipakkam. For the past couple of years, construction activity has been going on at full swing in areas along this road and as result, mud mined from dry bed of lakes and hillocks (‘malai mann’) is in great demand. Builders engage huge multi-axle trucks to transport it. When the vehicles leave the construction sites, a thick layer of the mud forms around the tyres and this fall off when the vehicles ply on the radial road.
Officials of the State Highways Department said that the problem of accumulation of mud on the carriageway and margins had assumed such enormous proportions that it posed a serious threat to the safety of motorists, especially two-wheeler riders and cyclists. The worst-affected stretch was between Zamin Raayapettai and Eechangadu intersection.
An official said it was the responsibility of supervisors at construction sites as well as lorry operators to ensure that their tyres were free of mud and that they had to be cleaned while leaving the sites. He said the Highways Department did not have the authority to pull up lorry drivers or their operators for causing damage to the road surface. The department had filed a complaint with the Madipakkam police station a few months ago, but there had been no response, he said. .
Similarly, the Kancheepuram district administration’s Department of Geology and Mining and its Department of Revenue too, did not act to keep a check on overloading, the official said.
Residents of Zamin Raayapettai and Keelkattalai said the radial road was their primary link to the rest of Chennai and that damage caused by the accumulation of mud across the entire width of the road had made driving conditions extremely dangerous.