City Matters | Chennai

Delay in completing flyovers, bridges inconveniences Chennai residents

Officials face difficulties in getting clearance, acquiring land

Work on a number of flyovers proposed along bus routes in the city have been hanging fire, and the delay is causing traffic congestion in several areas. Residents have been complaining about the delay in civic infrastructure projects.

A few years ago, former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa visited R.K. Nagar to inspect the site for the construction of a flyover on the Ennore High Road and Manali Road, and approved additional funds for the project.

The Corporation issued a “work order” for the ₹130-crore project. Construction was supposed to start two years ago, but it has not commenced yet.

Unkept promises

Resident M. Jeelani said neighbourhoods in the vicinity had been affected because of the delay in starting the project.

“I booked a cab a few days ago. It was delayed by 45 minutes because of the level crossing. The construction of the flyover should have been completed by this time. We don’t have councillors, and civic officials don’t give information,” he said.

Some residents of the area also complained about the delay caused to ambulances en route to tertiary care hospitals because of the two railway level crossings on the way.

Pointing to promises made by political parties during the Assembly election in 2011, they said the government had not given priority to the project after the death of Jayalalithaa.

Corporation officials claim that the traffic police refused to give clearance for the project due to the Metro Rail work in the northern parts of the city. The road has to be closed for traffic before the commencement of the work. The traffic police have been unable to divert traffic in the area. “We completed work on an alternative road along the canal in the area two weeks ago,” said an official.

“When we checked the stretch for permitting MTC buses, we found that high tension lines were coming close to the top of the buses, causing electromagnetic induction. So we have asked Tangedco officials to increase the height of the cables. We have been asked to pay Tangedco more than ₹8 crore for increasing the height of the cables. They are expected to start the work soon,” said an official.

Work on another bridge at the junction of Anna Salai, Eldams Road and Theyagaraya Road has also not begun so far. Nungambakkam resident B. Saravanan says he takes the stretch frequently and motorists want a proper design to ease congestion in the area.

“The pedestrian plaza has been delayed. If the bridge is delayed further, motorists may not be able to take the stretch at all,” Mr. Saravanan said.

Corporation officials say the bridge design will be innovative, marking the entry to T.Nagar Smart City. “We will finalise the design of the flyover shortly. The work will begin after the completion of the pedestrian plaza at T.Nagar in three months,” said a civic official.

Another bridge project in Nandanam, across Anna Salai, has been delayed because of the proposal for a Metro Rail station in the area. The Corporation will not be able to start construction of the flyover, unless the Metro Rail alignment is finalised and the station constructed.

Former DMK councillor Deva Jawahar said residents in the vicinity of Villivakkam railway Gate L1 have been demanding a grade separator for sometime now. “It was closed three years ago for the construction of a bridge. Motorists from several residential areas in Kolathur will use the grade separator. The link between Villivakkam and GKM Colony will improve after the construction of the bridge,” said Mr. Jawahar.

However, Corporation officials say the district administration is yet to acquire land for the project. “Over 30 families have to be resettled. Land has to be acquired on either side,” said an official.

Similarly, the bridge at Stephenson Road in Perambur, where a number of major residential projects are coming up, has been delayed.

“The bridge will improve connectivity in areas such as Pulianthope during flooding in monsoon. The new bridge across Otteri Nullah is our hope during floods. Thousands of families are expected to reside in high-rise residential buildings in land parcels near Binny Mills,” says R.Sundar, a resident.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 10:30:06 PM |

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