While the new Assembly-Secretariat complex is catching people's attention, some residentsfrom localities close to the new power centre are apprehensive.

Even as they acknowledge the possible advantages such as enhanced security in the localities, residents uniformly point to more traffic congestion as their biggest fear.

Communications professional A. Anusha says all arterial roads leading to her home in Royapettah are bound to get clogged even more. “There will be a lot of VIP movement and convoys, and traffic will invariably be stopped every now and then,” she says.

Wallajah Road, Bells Road, and Triplicane High Road connect several main roads. Not just motorists, but some key bus routes also depend on these stretches. “We might get more buses, but those roads will not be the same,” she adds.

V.V. Raghavan, a real estate mediator in Triplicane, observes that the new Assembly-Secretariat complex and the consequent increase in volume of traffic is likely to have an impact on rental values in the area.

“On the one hand, irregularities in vehicle parking are likely to be checked and addressed. On the other, tenants might be wary of moving into Triplicane fearing the increased traffic congestion around the locality,” he says.

A double bedroom apartment in the locality is now available for rent ranging from Rs.8,000 to Rs.15,000, depending on facilities such as parking. “This might go down, as finding tenants who do not mind the traffic problem will be very difficult,” he adds.

Another resident of Triplicane, who does not wish to be named, says, “Our locality was such a mess on the day of the inauguration of the building. After the road laying work started, Metrowater supply lines were cut off and homes in our area did not get the supply for nearly a week.”

Adding that the earlier Secretariat was not particularly close to any residential locality, he say, “That is how it should be. Thousands of people will visit the place every day and imagine the chaos.”

R. Veluswamy, a resident of Chintadripet, also anticipates increased traffic flow in the area. “Our locality is already congested. Many people who have to go to Egmore or Poonamallee High Road from Anna Salai travel via Chintadripet.”

He suggests that some changes be made by introducing one-way system along some stretches and widening a few other roads such as West Cooum River Road. J. Johnson, another resident of the locality, also says that the traffic on main roads would soon spill over to interior roads in the area.