Two days after a Class 12 student was knocked down and killed on the spot, the State Highways Department removed encroachments on the carriageway on Dr. Rajendra Prasad Road in Chromepet on Wednesday.
Beginning 9.30 a.m., the drive to remove awnings, sign boards and illegal constructions, including extensions to shops, steps and ramps leading to houses went on till 6 p.m. Since they removed the obstructions from the right side first, establishments on the left side of the road had time to remove the structures on their own.
A large posse of policemen was present regulating traffic and ensuring officials and workers on the field were allowed to do their duty. Workers from the Tambaram Corporation cleared the debris from the road.
“The road, which has over 500 commercial establishments, including four schools, has very high traffic density. We plan to re-lay the road and lay concrete paved blocks on either side so that there is no mud,” said an official.
Residents objected to the drive about which they were not given prior information. “Our house is at a lower level than the road. The asphalting of the road has been done over the years without any cold milling being done. That is why we had to raise the height of the ramp leading from the road. But now they have broken it terming it an obstruction. This is unfair,” said Subash, a resident.
Ravi, another resident, said prior notice would have allowed many to remove their structures with minimal damage. “The electricity poles and traffic signal poles remain five feet away from the buildings on the side. Will these not cause any obstruction to the free flow of traffic,” he asked. Several residents said the respective departments must remove bus shelters and electric poles to ensure that traffic flow was smooth.
V. Santhanam, social activist, said the pavement must be repaired and parking regulated. Heavy vehicles must be allowed only at night. MTC should operate only minibuses fitted with speed governors on the road. He stressed on the need to station traffic police during peak hours.