The road over bridge at Irumbuliyur was recently relaid.
It is a common sight to note traffic policemen painting pedestrian crossings near traffic signals and also some other markings on the margins of arterial and other important roads. But it is unusual to see them taking part in civil works such as laying the surface of an arterial road, that too which is under the maintenance of National Highways Authority of India.
Traffic policemen gave a helping hand to workers engaged by Tambaram Municipality that provided a new bitumen-top to the surface on the road over bridge at Irumbuliyur this week.
The road over bridge at Irumbuliyur was built about 25 years ago to replace the railway level crossing on Grand Southern Trunk Road. It became an even more important spot when work under the Golden Quadrilateral project of NHAI was taken up.
Further, the creation of Chennai Bypass and the natural increase of volume of traffic made this location a traffic hot spot. Like most other bridges across railway lines, this bridge becomes a bottleneck – very narrow compared to the roads leading to it.
According to the traffic policemen, nearly 80 per cent of all the vehicles from the southern, central and coastal districts of Tamil Nadu towards Chennai travel past this stretch, while the remaining take East Coast Road. Considering the phenomenal flow of traffic along this corridor, the NHAI has not done much to improve the quality of road surface on the bridge, as is evident by the number of potholes, the dangerously protruding iron roads on the surface and the overall poor quality of the road surface.
Vehicles on both directions – towards Chennai and Chengalpattu, slow down due to the badly maintained road surface resulting in a traffic pile-up. Government buses and chartered buses on the way to Oragadam and also the Mahindra City, college buses and other private vehicles are trapped in traffic pile-ups at Irumbuliyur during the morning and evening rush hours every single day of the week.
Residents’ appeal to NHAI and requests from a couple of Government departments did not make the NHAI to act and carry out even temporary road restoration works on the stretch. Last week, traffic policemen made a desperate appeal to Tambaram Municipality for help and after a joint inspection by elected representatives and staff along with the policemen, it was decided to take up temporary patchworks.
On the early hours
On Wednesday last, between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., workers engaged by the municipality brought in construction material and in a very short span of time, the surface on the road over bridge was completely re-laid. Traffic towards Tambaram was diverted via the opposite lane. Motorists, while expressing their happiness over the temporary measure, said that the State Highways Department and the NHAI seemed to be out of bounds for residents to submit their grievances.
Like other departments of the State Government, these two wings should conduct grievance meetings, at least once in a few months. It is not always possible for local bodies and the traffic policemen to attend to problems in areas that strictly did not belong to their jurisdiction. They appealed to NHAI to visit the bus terminus at Perungalathur and interact with the waiting bus commuters, who would only be too glad to pour out their grievances, the residents added.