This four-lane flyover in Chennai is used by hundreds of heavy vehicles, but does not have lights
Grass, plants and even a small tree have come up on the Madhavaram flyover on the northern sector of Inner Ring Road.
Built by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) in 2004, the flyover — connecting Padi and Manali — is badly maintained. As the slabs on either side of the structure have not been cleaned, thick layers of mud have formed on them, allowing plants to grow.
Unlike other similar flyovers constructed by the NHAI, the maintenance of the Madhavaram flyover has not been handed over to the State highways department, which is the usual practice, as the NHAI does not have a maintenance wing.
When the NHAI and the highways department were contacted, both agencies said they were not in charge of its maintenance.
“It was constructed by us but maintenance is the highways department’s responsibility,” said an official of the NHAI. However, a highways department official said the flyover had not been handed over to them.
The four-lane flyover, which is used by hundreds of heavy vehicles on a daily basis, does not even have lights.
“It’s not just the flyover that is poorly lit – the entire stretch from the Padi grade separator until beyond the flyover is not well illuminated. If lighting is improved, it will help reduce accidents here,” said K. Jagan, a resident of Kolathur.
Another confusing aspect is which project the flyover comes under.
Officials at the highways department said the flyover is part of the Rs. 600-crore Ennore Manali Road Improvement Project (EMRIP). However, NHAI officials denied this, and said EMRIP only began after the flyover.
The park and the road beneath the flyover however, are part of the Chennai-Tada road widening project, which is also being executed by NHAI.
The NHAI has handed over several facilities that it constructed to the highways department including the Kathipara grade separator, Padi grade separator, airport flyover and Koyambedu flyover for maintenance.
“In 2008-09 we constructed a 200-metre median, but since NHAI objected to the construction, we demolished it. We had taken up some flood damage work in 2009 but they asked us to stop that as well,” said a former highways official.
However, on Tuesday when this reporter visited the spot some agency was involved in removing the mud and plants.