Motorists caught on the wrong foot

The stretch in Ambattur on June 21. Photo: D. Madhavan  

Unplanned digging of the bitumen-topped Chennai–Tiruvallur High (CTH) Road, near the small bridge in Ambattur, by Chennai Metrowater has made the stretch uneven, with mounds of sand dumped at the corners.

The drainage pipeline-laying work was undertaken for a day recently when lockdown restrictions were relaxed. The work is aimed at connecting the drainage network in the two connecting streets to the manhole on CTH Road.

Commuters are unhappy that police personnel had not been deployed to regulate traffic on the stretch when the work was being undertaken. The existing vehicle checkpoint near the Ambattur police station is hardly 100 metres away from the damaged portion on the stretch where the pipeline work was carried out.

Motorists pointed out that the work of connecting the street drainage system to the main network on CTH Road should have been carried out at night, when the complete ban on movement of people vehicles (except goods-laden lorries and trucks for emergencies) is in effect. Having such an arrangement would have checked traffic chaos.

“Senior citizens and women hurt themselves as they were unable to walk on the uneven portion near the pipeline work spot. We are not against such civic work, but the movement of vehicles has increased due to lockdown relaxations. In such a situation, civic work should have been carried out at night,” says T. Gunaseelan, a long-time resident of Ambattur.

CTH Road is currently being widened between Padi and Thirunindravur, a distance of around 20 km, from two-lane to six-lane highway median, footpath, stormwater drains and street lights at a cost of ₹98 crore. Many sections of the stretch between Padi and Thirunindravur have been expanded after demolition of encroachments and acquisition of private lands.

However, a few spots on the stretch are yet to be widened due to litigation pertaining to land acquisition.

Known to be the gateway to residents of neighbouring Tiruvallur and north and northwest sections of Chennai to reach the central sections of the city, CTH Road is used by hundreds of motorists.

For many, the stretch has become wider, less congested and better illuminated. “Steps will be taken to relay the damaged portion of the stretch soon,” says a State Highways official.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 10:49:20 PM |

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