Bad state of stretches on Chennai-Bangalore highway affect traffic and cause jams

Fed up with the bad shape of the Chennai- Bangalore Highway, residents living along the road and motorists are demanding that toll fee collection be suspended until the repairs are undertaken.

Many places including Velappanchavady, Senneerkuppam and Poonamallee have bad stretches that slow down traffic considerably and cause traffic jams during rush hour. Around 25,000 vehicles cross the toll plaza at Sriperumbudur every day.

Seneerkuppam resident M. Kumaran, said that the service lanes were worse than the main carriageway. “The potholes are quite deep. A few days ago, a group of angry residents protested against the state of the service lane at Seneerkuppam, which has remained so for at least five months now. There is no sign of repairs being undertaken by the National Highways Authority of India(NHAI), which maintains the road and collects toll. The government must take steps to stop collection of toll till the repairs are taken up,” he said.

Encroachments and garbage on the sides of the four-lane road too are problems. E.P. Parthasarathy, a resident of Saidapet, who travels frequently to Sriperumbudur and Sunguvarchatram, said encroachments and constructions dot the sides of the road at many locations including at Kattupakkam, Kumananchavady and Thandalam. “It’s a toll road. In order to go to the temple town of Sriperumbudur, we pay a one-way toll of Rs. 45. Despite being a toll road, it offers no facilities for road users. Due to the potholes, the drive is very bumpy and a lot of accidents happen,” he said.

The contractor is yet to take up widening of the road into a six lane facility, leading to frequent traffic jams. K. Rangadurai, a real estate agent at Velappanchavady said that the stretch of Poonamallee High Road has been in a bad shape at least for the past four months now.

“Every day, there is a traffic jam that lasts for over an hour. We have been requesting the local policemen to do something but they say they are helpless. Ours is an important junction as it leads to Thiruverkadu temple. We need a bridge here so that traffic jams can be avoided,” he said.

I.G. Reddy, (NHAI), which maintains the road, agreed that they were having problems with the contractor. “There is no proper maintenance. We have initiated action against the company. If it does not take up repair works soon, we will have no other go but to get the work done by someone else and recover the amount from the contractor. If the company still does not do anything, we will not hesitate to terminate the contract,” he said.

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