For residents of areas in and around Tiruvottiyur, walking or driving on Tiruvottiyur High (TH) Road is not an easy task, as it is waterlogged and badly damaged at various places.
The road, one of the arterial stretches in north Chennai, is in bad shape especially at Rajakadai and Kaladipet. Residents and road users said no amount of patchwork helped and these portions were perennially in poor condition.
For motorists, the road is an extremely bumpy ride. “The road is filled with potholes especially at Kaladipet. I run a shop at Rajakadai and live near the Tiruvottiyur market. So I travel on my two-wheeler at least four times a day across the stretch. It is an arduous task to ride on this rain-battered road. Any patchwork that is done wears off in about a week,” said Samundeeswari, a local resident.
Amudha, a flower vendor near Sannadhi Street, said the road’s condition had turned worse in the last six months. “The potholes are filled with water and motorists have a difficult time trying to negotiate their way,” she said.
S. Dilip Kumar, a resident of Tiruvottiyur and a share auto driver, said that travelling on this stretch from Tollgate to Ajax in Tiruvottiyur was risky. “I ferry passengers in my share auto on at least six to eight trips a day. At the end of each day, I suffer from severe back pain. The authorities are not bothered about residents here.”
It’s not just motorists who face problems – pedestrians complain that they are left with no space to walk on the road due to water stagnation. “A 10-minute spell of rain is enough to inundate the road. Since there are sheets of water along the sides, we have to walk in the middle of the road and find it difficult to wait for buses or share autos,” said Lakshmi, an office-goer and resident of Kaladipet.
There are a number of schools on this stretch and for school students, getting splashed with dirty water has become a regular ordeal, residents said. Nanda Kumar, a resident of Kasimedu, said the rainwater did not drain easily as the road was low-lying.
The Highways Department had begun work to widen the five-km road in 2008, but delays over land acquisition and shifting of utilities by various service providers had led to the project being considerably delayed.
Department sources said they would take up patchwork on the road on a war footing.
The Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board had only recently completed its work of laying water pipeline on this stretch. “The soil needs to settle down for us to lay the road. As far as water logging is concerned, stormwater drain work is nearing completion on a 2-km stretch. Tenders are being called for another 2 km. The delay in land acquisition has led to the delay in construction of drains,” an official said.