The development of civic amenities in Tiruvottiyur continues to be a challenge even after it has become part of the Chennai Corporation. The zone on Friday witnessed yet another instance of lacklustre participation by class I contractors in the technical bid for the grid system of roads under the mega city development mission.

A total of Rs. 333.27 crore was approved for the grid system of roads covering a distance of 175 km and work in zones other than Tiruvottiyur has started.

The civic ambitions of the residents range from being part of the Metro Rail network to having good roads. The brisk activity in other zones is also on their minds.

The Corporation is trying its best to finalise all the packages in Tiruvottiyur for the mega city project but the reluctance of contractors continue be an unsolved puzzle for the officials and residents. The civic body has retendered the integrated road development work many times for the past two months but is yet to finalise all the bids for the zone.

“People, even educated ones, do not raise their voice if the roads or drainage facilities are in bad shape. Some of the delayed works are a stumbling block for other projects”, said V. Sethuraman, a resident of Tiruvottiyur.

The Corporation had proposed to undertake the road improvement work for the eight newly added areas a few months ago. The work on this grid system of roads, that includes streetlights, street furniture, footpaths and stormwater drains, was divided into 31 different packages worth around Rs. 10 crore each.

Following poor response to the tender many times even after a number of Class-I contractors had expressed interest in the project, the Corporation has divided the original packages to speed up the finalisation of the bid.

Residents such as Stephen Raj of Tiruvottiyur say the delay in finalisation of the bid pointed to other underlying problems in the zone. “Most of the roads are in bad shape. The delay in execution of earlier projects has created a mess,” he added. Some residents claimed that the contractors were reluctant to participate in the bid owing the fear that encroachments on roads may delay the project and make the integrated development of the grid system unviable in Tiruvottiyur“Many works are likely to remain incomplete by the onset of the northeast monsoon. We are expecting at least some development to cope with this monsoon,” said Sivan, another resident.

Mobilisation of residents for better civic amenities is gaining momentum in Tiruvottiyur. Last week, a meeting was organised to bring trade unions into the struggle for better civic facilities. The participants have decided to intensify the campaign for Metrorail connectivity and road connectivity for Tiruvottiyur.

One of the participants AVS Maarimuthu of North Chennai Peoples Rights Federation said: “No politician is ready to support Tiruvottiyur. Traffic congestion in Beach Road and encroachments in T.H. Road are a problem. Other roads are in bad shape. Suburban connectivity is not adequate. Metrorail can assure connectivity to 70 per cent of other zones of Chennai with Tiruvottiyur.”

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Civic issues & HealthMay 14, 2012

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