TAMBARAM: As part of steps to improve riding conditions on Velachery Main Road, one of the most important arterial roads in the southern suburbs of Chennai, traffic signals are being installed at eight points.
Velachery Main Road (Marmalong Bridge Irumbuliyur Road in official parlance) is a 21-km-long State Highway No. 48 connecting Tambaram at Grand Southern Trunk Road and Saidapet via Velachery.
The entire stretch of this road was widened except for a few stretches owing to encroachments and land acquisition. Permanent, raised medians were provided between Velachery and Pallikaranai initially and now work is on to extend it between Medavakkam and Selaiyur.
However, congestion and frequent accidents at some of the important intersections continue to plague administrators of the Chennai Suburban Traffic Police. Last year, proposals were sent to the State government for installing automatic traffic signals with timers at some important spots, following which these facilities are now being installed at Camp Road junction, Rajakilpakkam, Madambakkam Road junction and at intersections in Medavakkam and Perumbakkam and also on the road leading to Mambakkam, in addition to a couple of more spots near Pallikaranai and Velachery.
Traffic police said that they were still waiting for government approval for installing a traffic signal on GST Road at the crucial spot at Peerkankaranai. Traffic police sources said that in 2008, 18 persons were killed and 62 injured on Velachery Main Road that comes within the Commissionerate limits and so far this year, 14 persons were killed and 59 injured in road accidents in different places.
They had identified Medavakkam, Santhoshapuram, Gowrivakkam and Camp Road Junction among others as the accident-prone spots on this road. Officials of the State Highways Department said that contrary to general public opinion that different government departments did not work in tandem for the common good, the improvement works on this road was an example of good support and coordination from different agencies.
While they carried out improvement works, including widening and building of permanent medians, local bodies pitched in by installing streetlights while traffic police provided traffic signals.
On Velachery Main Road, financially weaker local bodies such as Medavakkam village panchayat and Sembakkam town panchayat had contributed immensely to create street lighting, including provision of high-mast lamps.