Objective is to prevent inundation near Virugambakkam during monsoon

The Highways Department has sent a fresh proposal to the State government seeking approval and funds to complete the widening of a small portion of Jawaharlal Nehru Salai over the Virugambakkam canal near Vadapalani.

The move is bound to bring cheer to residents of the area as the work has been pending for over two years and on completion would prevent inundation of the neighbouring localities during monsoon.

Sources in the Highways Department said that though the widening work began in 2009, it could not be completed as there were issues with regard to the shifting of power cables.

They have been sorted out now and the Department would soon pay Rs.1 crore to the TANGEDCO for shifting the cables.

The sources said that work on widening the upstream side (from Vadapalani to Koyambedu) has been completed. On the other side, the work is yet to be completed as there is a delay in shifting of cables. The width of the road at that point is only 21 metre and with the widening 11 metres more would be added.

Towards the work, the Department has sought Rs.2.5 crore from the State government.

Jaya Krishnamurthi, a resident of Choolaimedu said: “The canal becomes narrow in our area and when it rains, the water level raises and last year our homes were flooded. Widening of the road at that point would help desilt the canal better and avoid a recurrence of last year.”

D.Shanthi, a resident of Virugambakkam, said: “In 2008, our area was inundated as the canal overflowed. The water was very dirty and a lot of our belongings, including television set, furniture and books were spoilt.”

Sources in the Public Works Department said that work on desilting the canal had begun and would be completed by September.