Playing host to reputable educational institutions besides its well planned layouts, several healthcare facilities and relatively better infrastructure and greenery, Adyar is a much preferred zone of Chennai Corporation.
The zone comprises sought-after residential locations such as Adyar, Besant Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur, Velachery and CIT Nagar. And then there are also areas like Adambakkam, Guindy and Saidapet which house a mix of slum tenements, industrial estates and plenty of shops.
Councillors of this zone unlike their counterparts in other wards might not have to deal with issues concerning lack of basic infrastructure since the localities witnessed considerable development in the last five years. The residents want the councillors to stay in touch with them regularly after the elections.
H. Vembu, a resident of Padmanabha Nagar 5th Street, Adyar, says he has never seen the former councillor visit the area. Neither did he hear of the councillor raising any issue pertaining to the locality in the Council in the last five years.
Residents like S. Rangarajan of Subramaniam Colony, Velachery, want the new councillors to prepare a five-year plan focussing on the water supply, sewer network, garbage collection and disposal, roads, electricity and removal of encroachments. The ward should be divided into blocks and the councillor should conduct regular meetings with the residents to review development in each locality and the issues taken up with the officials to resolve them.
While Adyar was primarily designed to be a residential locality with the best amenities, it has managed to attract showrooms and restaurants in the last few years. Historically, Gandhi Nagar in Adyar was the first to get a proper layout in the country post-independence. Residents say it continues to be promising, provided the new infrastructure facilities are intelligently planned to reduce the increasing traffic congestion.
“The heavy traffic from L.B. Road has seeped into the interior lanes too. Traffic from East Coast Road has to be directed this way to the city. It takes almost 30 minutes to reach Sathya Studio, which is just about three km away,” says G. Veeraghavan, a resident of Indira Nagar. Public transport has not caught up with the increasing population with the number of buses plying this route having significantly reduced. The MRTS (Mass Rapid Transit System), which runs through the Adyar Zone, remains poorly utilised because of lack of connectivity and the stations are in need of better maintenance and more security.
Residents complain that commercial buildings have come up in between residential places, and most of them do not have parking lots, which has led to illegal parking in many areas. The Srinivasamurthy Avenue located next to the Corporation zonal office in Adyar was once awarded the ‘Best Maintained Road' but is now occupied by vehicles of visitors to nearby shops.
With fast food joints and garment stores lining the waterfront in Besant Nagar, residents say the stream of visitors cause several inconveniences. “During weekends, the cars parked along the narrow lanes make it difficult to get our vehicles out,” says L.V.Mahadevan, treasurer, Bay View Flat Owners' Association. The lack of pruning of tree branches and poor functioning of streetlights have led to several incidents of chain snatching, he adds.
The neighbouring Thiruvanmiyur also suffers from poor road infrastructure, unfinished cable laying work and increasing traffic congestion. “Two months ago, the Kuppam Beach Road was dug up by Metrowater and it has not been repaired as yet. When it rains, the slippery roads make it unsafe for two wheeler riders,” says S.Rajakumar, a shop owner.
Residents of Velachery want immediate solutions to decongest traffic in the area, which is fast becoming the preferred location for leading brands. Poor road infrastructure compounds the problem.
R. Arun, a resident of Tansi Nagar, says the Velachery Main Road, Taramani Link Road and Bypass Road are heavily crowded with vehicles, resulting in pile up of vehicles for even 30 minutes on some days to cover a stretch of a few kilometres during rush hour.
Members of the Federation of Velachery Welfare Associations want the Councillors to take steps to speed up the construction of stormwater drain, upgrade the sewage pumping station and lay new sewer pipelines, retrieve Open Space Reservation lands meant for public purposes and protect the Velachery Lake. Besides early completion of the SWD work, residents of Division 177 and 178 in West Velachery want a straight road connecting either to the Bypass Road or the Inner Ring Road.
Civic issues galore in Kanagam, which is home to several prime educational institutions. Water logging in areas of Sriram Nagar and WBT road is a regular menace. “This area is preferred by the IT crowd because it is relatively cheaper than other areas, but that has not made any significant change to the state of roads and issues concerning safety and security,” says T. Purushottaman, a resident.
The demands of Saidapet residents include measures to improve road safety and streetlights. Squatters along the Adyar river near the Maraimalai Adigal bridge complain of inadequate public toilets and lack of potable drinking water.
CIT Nagar, which was previously in Saidapet zone, is now part of Adyar Zone. Sewage overflow and incomplete SWD construction work plagues many areas of C.I.T. Nagar and Venkatnarayana Road.
(With inputs from R.Srikanth, Vasudha Venugopal and Sowmiya Ashok)
Keywords: Chennai Corporation