Traffic pile-ups are a daily occurrence at the junctions on Rajiv Gandhi Salai, which carries over 30,000 vehicles a day. Of the six lanes, only four are available for vehicular traffic and pedestrians, as the two other lanes are being used as work-space by contractors.
A regular road user, Biswarup Pal, who heads the Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care in a private hospital in Perumbakkam, said that, “it takes almost half an hour to cross the Sholinganallur junction during rush hour. Ten metres on either side are encroached upon by heaps of mud and at times workers.”
K. Sekar, a share autoricksaw driver, said this was the case at the junction near Tidel park too. “We take an additional half an hour just to reach the signal from SRP Tools, which if the road is free should not take more than three minutes. Passengers prefer our services so that they can get to their destinations quickly. However, the traffic jams delay many office-goers.” To help decongest traffic on the road, the State government had recently announced that it would construct flyovers at five junctions – Thiruvanmiyur junction , Lattice Bridge-SRP Tools junction, Perungudi Lifeline junction, near the D.B.Jain College, and Sholinganallur junction.
Officials in Tamil Nadu Road Development Company (TNRDC), which maintains Rajiv Gandhi Salai, said that Tamil Nadu Urban Infrastructure Financial Services Limited has invited bids from consultants for preparing a detailed project report for the five facilities. “There is no requirement for land acquisition and the work is expected to start in a year's time. A traffic study has been done in 2008,” an official of TNRDC said.
He said that the remaining work on Rajiv Gandhi Salai is expected to be completed by March 2011. Though work orders (separately for the two sides) for laying service lanes and pavements were issued sometime ago, there was a lot of variation between the actual work and the proposal, which forced us to go in for a re-tender.