Work on stormwater drains, service lanes, wells is on

The Chennai Corporation has further pushed the deadline for the completion of the Rs.34.16-crore vehicular subway at Villivakkam to April.

Senior civic body officials said that though the facility to replace Level Crossing- 2 (LC -2) looks complete from outside, civic body officials said work on stormwater drains, service lanes and wells is on.

The Southern Railway, which is responsible for the portion beneath the tracks, would take some more time to complete dewatering and lay the wearing coat. The Corporation would have to connect both sides thereafter.

“As the rains have just ended, water table is high and there is continuous seepage due to that. Of 680 metres of stormwater drains, 170 metres have been completed and work is on in another 75 m. Only after the completion of the drains, the service roads can be laid. The drains and the roads are at the same height,” a source in the civic body said.

The work on the subway began in 2008 and the deadline has been pushed several times due to various factors, including land acquisition, removal of encroachments, shifting of service lines, delay in concrete box pushing by the Southern Railway and water seepage and logging after the rains.

The Corporation had earlier said that the work would be completed in April 2010, then it was shifted to January 2011 and then postponed to June 2011. Subsequently, it was promised that the work would be finished before the onset of the monsoon but it was not.

Sunitha Balaji, a resident of Villivakkam, said, “When the railway gate on LC 1 is closed for trains, we have to wait up to 20 to 30 minutes at times. The trains are very frequent and during rush hour we lose patience waiting and prefer to take a roundabout route through Padi and turn right at the Retteri junction to reach our relatives' place at Thirupathi Nagar near Kolathur.”

Many residents, who have to reach schools on the other side, have no other option but to wait for passing of the trains. If the subway work is completed, it would save a lot of time and fuel for those travelling to places including Poompuhar Nagar and Rajaji Nagar, said Prema Sriramalu, a resident of SIDCO Nagar in Villivakkam.

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