The Chennai Corporation has re-laid Kannagi Nagar II main road, with a 12-metre carriageway and a 1.5-metre footpath

Homemaker S. Shanthi (36) of Kannagi Nagar, is no longer concerned about road safety in her neighbourhood.

This was not the case last year. Then, when her daughter stepped on to Kannagi Nagar II main road to go to school every day, Shanthi would worry endlessly. Buses to the area were few and far between, and the road was incomplete, dotted with potholes. Shanthi and thousands of other residents in the area had endured bad roads and absent footpaths for more than a decade.

This summer, things changed. The Chennai Corporation finally re-laid Kannagi Nagar II main road, with a 12-metre carriageway and a 1.5-metre footpath. “Now buses reach our doorstep. Our children walk on the footpath. They are safe. The Corporation re-laid the road in February and completed the footpaths in May,” said Shanthi.

Footpaths and roads in a number of neighbourhoods in the 15 zones of the city are now being developed both by the civic body and by the State government under the Chennai mega city development mission. But a number of roads are yet to get footpaths, primarily because other civic projects come in the way.

“Roads and footpaths have improved access to the neighbourhood. The entire area has improved, and housing prizes have shot up,” said Riaz ***, a resident of Jayachandran Nagar in Perungudi zone.

Footpaths and roads on Nehru Nagar First Link Street, Church Road, Anna Nedunchalai, Kamarajar Road and Veerasamy Road in Perungudi zone have improved significantly after they were re-laid recently. However, the civic body has constructed only 3.99 km of footpaths of the proposed 32.2 km in Perungudi zone. Also, work in most of the other zones is yet to be completed. Residents also said that building new roads and footpaths was not enough — they had to be cleaned, maintained and kept free of encroachments.

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