Encroachments have eaten into Kaliamman Koil Road at many places

Traffic snarls are a regular feature during rush hour on Kaliamman Koil Road , a crucial link between Arcot Road and Jawaharlal Nehru Road.

The road, nearly 60 feet wide from Jawaharlal Nehru Road to Koyambedu market complex, narrows down to 20 feet at some spots near the Virugambakkam Market. Chennai Corporation officials said that the average road width is 36 feet, but in many places due to encroachments it is much less.

The 2.75-km-long road is lined up with shops, commercial establishments, wedding halls and a Regional Transport Office. With each of these facilities attracting several hundred visitors on many days, the traffic on the road is heavy. Compounding the problem is the haphazard parking of vehicles.

S.Arumainathan, president of Virugambakkam Residents Welfare Association, said traffic went haywire in the mornings as there were 15-20 schools in the surrounding areas and children from residential neighbourhoods take this road.

On Thursdays when the RTO checks vehicles, it was a nightmare. “We have submitted a petition to Mayor M. Subramanian, asking the Corporation to widen the road according to the Second Master Plan. If initiatives are not taken towards this, we will launch an agitation,” he added.

Sharath Chandran, a resident of Natesan Nagar, who until recently used to reside on Kaliamman Koil Road , said that during the muhurtham season, vehicles coming to wedding halls take up much of the space on the road. “Many commercial establishments have encroached on the space that ideally should have pavements for pedestrians''.

Mr. Subramanian said as an immediate measure, encroachments on Kaliamman Koil Road would be removed.

“There is a proposal for widening the road in the Second Master Plan. From Jawaharlal Nehru Road to Koyambedu Market, it will be 90 feet wide and from there to Arcot Road 80 feet. We have to see how much land would have to be acquired and how much has to be spent.”

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