Frequent traffic snarls on Medavakkam Main Road may soon be a thing of the past.

Widening of this arterial road, also known as Mount Madipakkam Road, is set to begin with the State government having recently announced the acquisition of 1,873 square metres (20,160 square feet) to convert the entire 9 km road into a four-lane highway.

The road, running through a large residential corridor, connects St. Thomas Mount Railway station with Medavakkam on Velachery Main Road and, over the years, has become an important arterial link under the care and maintenance of the State Highways Department.

As it criss-crosses the southern sector of Inner Ring Road at Vanuvampettai and also Pallavaram – Thoraipakkam Radial Road at Eachangadu, traffic flow on this road is generally heavy.

With a number of localities on this stretch – Alandur, Ullagaram, Puzhuthivakkam municipalities and village panchayats like Madipakkam having been recently merged with Chennai Corporation and with a jump in the number of services and new routes catered to by the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC), residents here had been appealing to the State government to improve the road to be able to deal with its huge burden of traffic.

Between 2006 and 2010, Rs. 16 crore was spent to widen the road and create permanent raised medians. However, improvement work remained incomplete in many spots, especially on the stretch between Keelkattalai and Vanuvampettai.

Officials of the State Highways Department said they could not expedite widening and improvement work as a lot of land that needed to be acquired was classified as ‘patta’ (under the ownership of people). At present, the road’s width varies between less than 7 metres to the planned 16 metres.

Residents of Adambakkam said that in the absence of road-widening work, traffic chaos had become the order of the day in Ullagaram, Madipakkam, Keelkattalai and Vanuvampettai.

During the morning rush hour, it takes people travelling on MTC services from remote pockets such as Nanmangalam or Sunnambu Kulathur nearly an hour to reach St. Thomas Mount or Guindy railway stations.

Officials said that in October, the department had passed an order that had identified the land — under the Alandur Taluk of Tambaram Revenue Division in Kancheepuram district — for acquisition. Once all the procedures were completed, work on road widening would be taken up.

Once the road was widened and improved, it would ease traffic considerably and also enhance the safety of motorists, the officials added.

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