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Drive along this road is nightmarish

K. Lakshmi
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Tiruvottiyur-Ponneri Panchetti Road has become unmotorable

IN SHAMBLES: The Tiruvottiyur-Ponneri Panchetti Road which has been hit by the recent rainfall — Photo: K. Lakshmi
IN SHAMBLES: The Tiruvottiyur-Ponneri Panchetti Road which has been hit by the recent rainfall — Photo: K. Lakshmi

The Tiruvottiyur-Ponneri Panchetti (TPP) Road is turning out to be a nightmare for motorists as it has been battered in the recent rains. The traffic pile-up on the road extends up to several km and takes hours to clear.

With a long line of container laden trucks, bound for industrial units in and around north Chennai, taking up a significant portion of the road, other motorists, particularly two-wheeler riders and autorickshaw drivers, are forced to squeeze their way.

On Wednesday, a breakdown of a truck on the road brought traffic to a standstill. People travelling by a few Metropolitan Transport Corporation buses were forced to walk the remaining distance to their destination as the vehicles were stranded in the traffic.

G.Rajammal, a 60-year-old resident of Echankuzhi, an area along TPP Road, said: “The driver of the bus that I travelled refused to ply till my place as it would take several hours to complete the trip. I am now at the mercy of share-autorickshaws to reach my area. Otherwise, I have to walk two km.”

V. Shankar, a lorry driver, said the road condition has worsened after the recent showers and it takes at least six hours to cover a distance of 10 km.Negotiating the road, particularly near Gounderpalayam, which is inundated and damaged, is challenging, he added.Residents and representatives of many transport associations complained about the delay in the implementation of the Ennore Manali Road Improvement Project (EMRIP), which covers four major roads — TPP Road, Ennore Expressway, Manali Oil Refinery Road (MORR) and northern portion of the Inner Ring Road from Madhavaram to Manali.

R.Sugumar, president of the Confederation of Surface Transport Associations, Tamil Nadu chapter, said many residents are shifting out of areas such as Manali Pudhu Nagar and Napalayam. The lorry owners suffer on account of additional fuel consumption and maintenance and labour charges. “We plan to go on strike next month if the repair works are not completed by then.”

Officials of the National Highways Authority of India said technical evaluation of the bids received for the EMRIP would be done by this month-end.

Of the total project cost of Rs.600 crore, nearly Rs.267.47 crore has been allocated for civil works.

The road widening project covering a distance of about 30 km would begin in four or five months. On the widening of the Ennore Expressway, officials said two more hamlets have to be shifted. The delay was due to fund allocation for land acquisition and shifting of utilities. As a temporary measure, work order has been issued to repair the TPP Road, MORR and a stretch of Inner Ring Road, which are under NHAI, at a cost of Rs.1.02 crore. The road level of 700-metre stretch near Gounderpalayam would be raised to prevent water stagnation.

The work is expected to finish next month.

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