Project will be developed on roads adjoining super-specialty hospital on Omandurar Estate

Roads forming a loop around the proposed super-specialty hospital in Omandurar Government Estate are likely to be the first to have civic infrastructure for non-motorised transport in the city. The non-motorised transport infrastructure would include bicycle tracks and partial pedestrianisation.

Following the nod given a few days ago for the super-specialty hospital by the National Green Tribunal-Southern Bench, the Chennai Corporation is planning to select the roads such as Walajah Road, a portion of Anna Salai, Swami Sivananda Salai and a stretch of Kamarajar Salai for development of infrastructure to facilitate the facility.

The Chennai Corporation is all set to identify more such circular corridors for non-motorised transport particularly around metro stations with the support of Traffic Police, Highways Department and Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority.

The civic body is likely to adhere to some of the points specified by the National Green Tribunal while conceptualising the plan. The tribunal had stressed the need for battery-operated vehicles inside the campus to shift staff, easing of traffic congestion near entry and exit points from the road adjoining the site, declaration of hospital area as a “no horn zone” with necessary sign boards and denial of permission for vehicles within 100 m of the silence zone of the hospital. The civic body’s plan for “partial pedestrianisation with a network for non-motorised transit” is likely to enhance the quality of the environment in the area.

The recommendations on developing such infrastructure is likely to be made at the next meeting of the sub-committee on infrastructure improvement and promotion of non-motorised transport to be chaired by the Chennai Corporation Commissioner. The State government had constituted three such sub-committees to help shape the Chennai Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (CUMTA), notified by the government in 2010. The other two sub-committees under CUMTA would look into resource mobilisation strategies and integration of public transport modes.

According to officials, the first meeting of the sub-committee a few months ago focussed on steps towards enhancement of operations of the non-motorised transport and also improving road infrastructure.

The plan to create a dedicated cycle track on a 6.5-km stretch in Anna Nagar has been put on hold because of Metro Rail work. Implementation of proposals for similar facilities in Mylapore and T. Nagar are also likely to be challenging because of encroachments and inadequate road width. Pedestrian facilities and non-motorised transport are possible near the hospital to streamline transit between Marina Beach, Chepauk Stadium, MRTS, University of Madras, Omandurar Estate and Ritchie Street locality without major changes to the existing infrastructure, officials associated with CUMTA said.

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