Downtown

Stretch marks

Dargah Road, Pallavaram. Photo: Vaishali R Venkat

Dargah Road, Pallavaram. Photo: Vaishali R Venkat   | Photo Credit: Vaishali R Venkat

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Every year, the north east monsoon puts our roads to the acid test. Many fail miserably. Some scrape through. A few pass with distinction. Here, Vaishali R. Venkat reads out from their report cards.

Almost always, rain leaves the Medavakkam Main Road battered. Pothole-ridden and bumpy, this eight-kilometre-long stretch, which leads to the St. Thomas Railway Station, is avoided like the plague by some motorists, especially those who are accustomed to travelling on better roads in the interior areas of Nanganallur and Medavakkam.

V. Rajalakshmi, a senior citizen of Moovarasampet, says, “The only problem in the area is the poor state of the Medavakkam Main Road. Crossing the road during rush hour is difficult. The potholes make travelling by a torturous task. In contrast, the interior roads are very good.”



Those who regularly take this busy stretch do so with a sense of resignation. V. Bhuvana is one of them. She commutes by train to her workplace in Mambalam and takes the Medavakkam Main Road on her way to the St. Thomas Railway Station to board a train.



Given the state of the road, she avoids travelling by her two-wheeler. As taking a bus entails waiting and loss of time, she avoids that too. “I go to the St.Thomas Railway Station by auto, spending a bomb.”



Similarly, several IT employees taking the Vadakkapattu Road (Medavakkam), which connects to the Rajiv Gandhi Salai (better known as OMR), have a similarly tough time.



“Every day, hundreds of motorists use this road to reach the IT corridor, yet the Medavakkam panchayat has ignored the stretch. During the rainy season, rainwater stagnates there, making it difficult for pedestrians to navigate it. Several representations made to the panchayat to have the stretch black-topped have not helped,” says M.R. Ananthasairam, a resident of Medavakkam.



However, L. Sundararaman, president, Chitlapakkam Muthulakshmi Nagar Welfare Association (CMWA), is proud of the 22 interior roads which comes under his Association. He says, “With frequent representations and petitions to the officials concerned, the stormwater drain work and black-topping have been done successfully and that is the main reason these roads withstand heavy downpour. Also, the Chitlapakkam II Main Road, which was laid six years ago is now in a good condition and commuters will enjoy a stress-free ride on the road.” He says he has no regrets about the roads in the area.



“As there are no houses on the road, raising the height of the road has not created any problem,” he adds.



R. Muralidharan, a resident of Nanganallur, says, “The First Main Road, Second and Fifth Main Roads in Nanganallur have been laid properly. They have been tar-topped and widened. Yet there have been many complaints about them, including parking of vehicles on the roadside and lack of proper lighting. Though these roads have been dug up for the construction of stormwater drains and installation of lights, commuters find it comfortable to travel on the road due to the black-topping.”





S. Parthasarathy, a resident of Pazhavanthangal, says he is quite happy with the interior roads in the area. He appreciates Nehru High Road and Bhakthavatchalam Nagar III Main Road, which connect Nanganallur, Moovarasampet and Medavakkam with Meenambakkam Airport. These roads have been raised. Now, among the other roads which withstood the recent spell of rain are: Pallavaram Dargah Road and Pallavaram Aerial Ring Road, which have been black-topped, widened and properly maintained.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 12:00:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/stretch-marks-on-chennai-roads/article6577835.ece

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