The work to re-lay 372 km of bus route and interior roads is likely to resume on Monday.
The Chennai Corporation, which had announced that it would be undertaken at a cost of Rs.111.20 crore, had to stop the work soon after launching it earlier this month. Officials of the civic body said it could not progress as scheduled in view of the intervening holidays for ‘Pongal,' when road workers go back to their native place, and as certain changes had to be made at the Central Asphalt Plant.
The alterations have been necessitated as the Corporation decided to mix plastic waste with bitumen for road re-laying. The plan was to use shredded plastic of 2 mm to 3 mm thickness. This was expected to improve the durability of the roads, which were battered in the northeast monsoon.
A total of 292 km of interior roads (numbering 1,498) are to be laid at a cost of Rs.59.5 crore and 80 km length of bus route roads (121) would be repaired at a cost Rs. 51.7 crore.
The Corporation has asked contractors to ensure proper tapering of road so that water does not stagnate. Instead, the roads should be designed properly to allow rainwater to drain off into the stormwater drain network. They would also have to ensure that enough gaps are allowed for the vents of SWD.
“We are trying to see if rainwater harvesting could be done at the vents of SWD instead of letting all the water get into the canals,” said Mayor Saidai S.Duraisamy.
Portions of several roads, including Arcot Road near Ram Theatre and Power House, Valluvarkottam High Road, Esplanade Road, Perambur Barracks Road, Thana Street in Purasawalkam, Purasawalkam High Road, Anderson Road in Ayanavaram, Redhills Road in Kolathur and Five Furlong Road in Velachery and Velachery Main Road, are in a bad shape.
M. Manikantan, a person with disability, said driving on pothole-ridden roads in Velachery posed challenges for people like him. “Unlike regular two-wheelers, mine is modified to suit my requirements and if there is a pothole I cannot negotiate around it. There have been instances of the vehicle stopping suddenly when I let the vehicle fall into the pothole. I then have to ask help from passersby. If there is a lot of traffic, this would slow down traffic too.”
“I use two-wheelers for short distances and the car to commute to office and either way it is difficult to drive. Potholes are dangerous for two-wheeler riders as they tend to lose balance. Whatever patch work was taken up in December, came off during the Thane cyclone. Almost every year we have the Chennai Corporation re-laying roads, said R.Sridharan, a resident of Kodambakkam.
However, road experts say that unless a system of urban roadway design with proper guidelines and drawings is put in place, the city would continue to have bad roads and water-logging. Medians are not just to divide the road into two, they are meant to divide traffic. Roads need to be designed according to the traffic that use them, said a road design expert.