The State government has allotted a sum of Rs. 43 crore for widening a small stretch of Grand Southern Trunk Road in Irumbuliyur, Tambaram. The stretch in recent times acquired the dubious distinction of being a death trap with many accidents taking place.
A Government Order to this effect from the Highways and Minor Ports Department (G.O. No. 157) was passed earlier this month. Official sources said that at Irubuliyur, the road narrowed down all of a sudden between a road overbridge and the police checkpost. At one spot, it was as narrow as 5.5 metres and the need for widening this stretch had been felt for several years. The road was under the control of National Highways Authority of India and some years ago, it was handed over to the State Highways Department.
In August 2012, a 45-year-old motorcyclist was knocked down by a STC bus. In July and February of the same year, a woman constable and a car mechanic were mowed down by lorries.
After a meeting held in the first week of this month, it was decided to approach the State government, seeking a sum of Rs. 43 crore, including Rs. 35.7 crore as money for compensation to land owners and the rest for civil works, including construction of medians, widening, storm water drains and pavements for pedestrians. The State government too has given its administrative sanction for releasing the amount for the project, which would also involve realigning the median.
With vehicles speeding down from two directions — Perungalathur and Chennai Bypass — descending at Irumbuliyur, the locality witnessed frequent fatal accidents. Residents of Irumbuliyur have on various occasions protested, seeking drastic steps to reduce the number of accidents at the spot. A section of residents have also openly urged NHAI as well as the State Highways and Revenue Departments to expedite the process of land acquisition as they did not want to be blamed for delaying the road widening.