Almost a year after it was proposed in the 2009-10 budget of the Chennai Corporation, a flyover-cum-subway project of the civic body in Thiruvanmiyur remains a non-starter.
Sources in the civic body said that the project, to ease traffic congestion at one of the busy traffic junctions in the city, was unlikely to be pursued in view of the financial constraints.
Mayor M. Subramanian told The Hindu that “it is not possible to allocate funds for the project in the 2010-11 budget. We do not have funds for such a large project. Land acquisition alone will cost around Rs.120 crore.”
On the financial constraints of the Corporation, he said that next fiscal the civic body would be investing around Rs.400 crore, as its share, in construction of stormwater drains and strengthening of canals under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. Even for this we may have to obtain loan,” he said.
Several residents of Thiruvanmiyur, however, want the Corporation to construct either a flyover or a subway near the junction. Roshan Jayakumar, a resident, said: “Sometimes it takes around 10 minutes for motorists to cross the junction. Pedestrians find it difficult to cross the junction and are forced to run across,” he said.
V. M. Dhandapani, secretary, Kamaraj Nagar Residents Welfare Association, said traffic changes, such as the one under which vehicles from East Coast Road are being diverted through 22nd East Street, South Avenue and 8th East Street, only shifted the congestion from one point to another. The flyover-cum-subway was a necessity at the junction. “Thiruvanmiyur is the entry point for all traffic from East Coast Road. Even long-distance buses take this route,” he said.
M. Jayaraman of Pattali Makkal Katchi, who is chairman of the Corporation’s Zone 10, said the project must not be shelved. “The Corporation spent a lot of money to construct a flyover on Cenotaph Road for which too it had spent a lot of money on land acquisition. They even fought battles in the High Court and ensured that the flyover came up. We will launch agitation if the flyover-cum-subway project at Thiruvanmiyur junction is dropped,” he said.