Crucial works to ease congestion may be over early next year
Many of the crucial works undertaken by the Chennai Corporation to facilitate reduction of traffic congestion are likely to be completed early next year.
Officials of the civic body said that the railway portions of many of the works were proceeding at a slow pace on account of technical difficulties arising out of passenger safety concerns.
The works carried out by the civic body include those at Mint Junction, Monegar Choultry Road, Rangarajapuram, Kathivakkam High Road-Cochrane Basin Road and Villivakkam.
Most of such facilities would require just two months of work by the civic body after the railway portion is completed, said an official.
One of the long-pending demands of the people in Velachery was the widening of the Taramani Link Road. The two-lane road used by thousands of vehicle users bound for Thiruvanmiyur and the IT corridor was unable to accommodate the heavy traffic leading to several accidents and severe traffic bottlenecks.
The 3.65 km stretch of road, which linked Velachery with the Rajiv Gandhi Salai, was proposed to be widened by the State Highways Department.
The work started on July 2, 2009, and was to be completed in 18 months. It however, continues at a slow pace much to the discomfort of the users. A senior official of the Highways Department said that the reason for delay was the proposal to construct the underground canal linking Velachery Canal to the Buckingham Canal to prevent flooding caused by the overflowing Velachery lake.
The underground canal project was proposed only after the road widening work began and being a big canal, underground service utilities had to be shifted causing further delay.
At present one half of the road has been fully completed along with a median, so that underground canal construction work would proceed without any hindrance. He said the widening project is expected to be completed by March 2012. The project, which was proposed to be executed at a cost of Rs. 23.45 crore, would be costing Rs. 38.94 crore.
With only one half of the road completed vehicle users coming from Rajiv Gandhi Salai and bound for Velachery Main Road are put to lot of hardship because of poor road condition.
Some motorists, unmindful of the risks they pose, use the well laid stretch in both the directions.
Residents of Velachery stressed the need for better coordination between the Southern Railway and Highways Department. The Southern Railway is also executing a road parallel to the Taramani Link Road adjacent to the MRTS railway tracks from Velachery to Taramani. Had this work been expedited vehicles could have been diverted through this road giving relief to motorists. The Chennai Corporation has asked for more space for a bigger stormwater drain along this road to tackle the monsoon rains. The delay in such projects is not new, but what baffles residents is why it keeps recurring. Some say the authorities' lack of coordinated measures is a pointer to the significance attached to safety of road users.