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Bad execution kills a vital road project

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Will it, won’t it?The public are anxious to know if the project will ever be completed.Photo: R. Srikanth
Will it, won’t it?The public are anxious to know if the project will ever be completed.Photo: R. Srikanth

Poor planning, bad execution and lackadaisical attitude on the part of the Southern Railway has killed a road project between Velachery and Taramani Railway Stations which, if it had been completed, would have solved the ever-growing traffic congestion at the junction of Velachery Main Road and Bypass Road.

The Southern Railway had proposed to form a road running parallel to the tracks of the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) from Velachery to Taramani Railway Stations to provide access to vehicle users between the three stations.

The road would also have provided connectivity to the southern arm of the Inner Ring Road Extension, thereby providing a link to the Rajiv Gandhi Salai (Old Mahabalipuram Road).

At present, the project on which the Southern Railway has spent huge funds for construction of storm water drain, a canal and development of road sub-structure, has been left incomplete and looks as good as shelved.

R. Ashokan, who regularly boards the MRTS train at Perungudi Railway Station, said the incomplete road has become one big, open toilet for the public and the storm water drain facility constructed on each side of the road is on the verge of dilapidation due to neglect. He said the proposed road would have provided the much needed access to the three railway stations — Velachery, Perungudi and Taramani — for the commuters.

The project, which started in right earnest during June 2009, was to be completed within six months as per details received from the Southern Railway authorities. The Southern Railway authorities, while faulting the contractor for not executing the road work despite being given five extensions, said that the road project has been handed over to the Chennai Corporation for execution.

But the officials of the civic body claim that the land has not been handed over to them by the Southern Railway.

Members of residents’ welfare associations of Velachery said that in the present situation where the expansion of the Taramani Link Road was getting delayed causing severe hardship to the motorists, the road project, if implemented, would reduce traffic congestion.

The welfare activists, citing the State Highways Department’s view that construction of a flyover at the junction of Velachery Main Road and Bypass Road would ease the traffic congestion, questioned the necessity for such a flyover when there was an easy solution to the traffic jam log by implementing the MRTS road project.

A resident said: “For constructing a flyover, land has to be acquired; whereas here, land is already available and the only thing the authorities have to do is to transfer the land to the Chennai Corporation, which they are not willing to do.”

Even now, all is not over as the project, if revived and completed, could play a major role in decongesting the road, say the residents.

The road would have provided access to vehicle users to three MRTS stations.

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