Started in mid-2010, it was to be completed in September 2011
Nearly two years after it was scheduled to be completed, work still continues at a grade separator at Oragadam.
The grade separator is being constructed at the intersection of two State highways: Vandalur–Wallajahbad Road (SH 48) and Singaperumal Koil–Sriperumbudur Road (SH 57).
Oragadam has become a driver of industrial growth in the State due to a wide range of manufacturing units in the Sriperumbudur belt.
The grade separator, being built at an estimated cost of Rs. 21 crore, is part of the Rs. 300-crore Oragadam Industrial Corridor project. While the road works began in 2008, the construction of the grade separator started in mid-2010. It was scheduled to be completed in September of the next year.
Due to delays caused by land acquisition and shifting of underground water supply, power and telephone cables, it could not be completed on time. Officials announced that the grade separator would be completed in September 2012.
However, even nine months beyond the revised schedule, the facility is still far from complete. Now, State highways officials say it will be completed by September this year. Seven slab decks were the only major works pending, an official said.
However, traffic has been allowed on one ramp of the grade separator. Two-way traffic is being maintained on the ramp leading from Wallajahbad towards Vandalur.
Motorists, however, have to exercise caution while travelling on the ramp. In the absence of protective parapet walls, sand bags and steel drums have been placed to form a temporary barricade.
“A driver new to the area can easily slip off the ramp if he is careless,” said A. Hariharan, a driver of a mini cargo truck.
Motorists are also irked by the quality of the road surface at the intersection below the bridge.
The surface has been damaged and drivers of heavy vehicles are the worst affected, especially those of buses that ply between Tambaram and Wallajahbad or Kancheepuram.
Crew members of Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation said they were forced to take a circuitous route of nearly 4 kilometres at Oragadam, on roads that were in an extremely bad state.
While a TNRIDC official said the road surface had to be maintained by the construction and maintenance wing of the highways department, a senior official of the wing said the responsibility was yet to be entrusted to them and they were hoping the task would be handed over in a month’s time.
“Several thousand commuters travel by government buses from Tambaram and other areas of the city to Wallajahbad and Kancheepuram. We pay Rs. 32 for a single trip. The road has been in a miserable state for months together. We wonder how long we have to suffer this fate,” said C. Arun, a resident of Tambaram working in a private company in Kancheepuram.