After a chaotic Saturday, residents and motorists dread Monday when vehicles will be out on the roads in full strength

Work on the Nandanam segment of Metro Rail began in earnest on Saturday, resulting in more traffic diversions. Roads and lanes in T. Nagar bore the direct brunt of the new changes; and South Boag Road, also known as Chevalier Sivaji Road, remained clogged most of the day as an assortment of vehicles coming from various parts of the city made their way to Anna Salai.

Saturday being the second day of the prolonged weekend due to Easter, streets of T. Nagar were crowded and vehicles on Thyagaraya Road, Thanikachalam Road and Venkatnarayana Road moved at snail's pace.

Although traffic diversions have become the order of the day, most motorists remained uncertain about the new routes. Those who crossed the Thanikachalam Road-Thyagaraya Road junction and reached Teynampet were in for a pleasant surprise as the entire stretch from Teynampet up to Nandanam junction has been made one-way.

Only a portion of Anna Salai will remain open to MTC buses (those coming from Guindy to Broadway), according to traffic police regulating vehicular movement on Saturday. Traffic slowed down considerably near the Voltas-Kavignar Barathidasan Road junction and again near Raintree hotel as confused motorists manoeuvred their way through traffic cones to return to Anna Salai. In some stretches, some cones were felled by the strong breeze, further adding to the confusion.

A group of BSNL telephone exchange employees at Nandanam stood on the footpath discussing how best to ensure that people could reach their office on Monday.

One employee I approached told me, “We are worried about reaching office. We were told that there would be a service lane open only to buses. We do have an entrance from Venkatnarayana Road, but we cannot drive in because it is blocked by the pavement. We are discussing ways to make it accessible.” They remained oblivious to the noise and commotion around them.

While it was easy to manoeuvre through Anna Salai, the battle for space began near the entrance to South Boag Road. The roads are narrower and in several places, dug up. It is going to be very difficult for residents in the lanes branching off this road. The locality, with large avenue trees, was quiet and peaceful until now. On Saturday, a fine film of dust hung in the air as vehicles inched their way out. Reality will hit them with full force on Monday when offices reopen.

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