CHENNAI,TAMIL NADU, 20/06/2019 : FOR DOWN TOWN : Rajendra Prasad Road in Nehru Nagar in Chromepet is a badly planned stretch in terms of civic infrastructure. The pavements are narrow on this stretch and are broken at many spots. Many shops are misusing the pavements as a display place for their products. Unauthorised parking is rampant here causing traffic blocks frequently on Thursday..Photo : B.Velankanni Raj /The Hindu

CHENNAI,TAMIL NADU, 20/06/2019 : FOR DOWN TOWN : Rajendra Prasad Road in Nehru Nagar in Chromepet is a badly planned stretch in terms of civic infrastructure. The pavements are narrow on this stretch and are broken at many spots. Many shops are misusing the pavements as a display place for their products. Unauthorised parking is rampant here causing traffic blocks frequently on Thursday..Photo : B.Velankanni Raj /The Hindu

July 02, 2019 04:39 pm | Updated 04:55 pm IST

Nightmare on Rajendra Prasad Road

A senior citizen was run over by a bus and a motorcyclist is battling for his life after being hit by a truck on this stretch; pleas to free this road of potholes and unauthorised parking remain unheeded

Numbers don’t lie. Two hair-raising accidents in less than two weeks on a road may suggest that it be brought under closer scrutiny. Residents of Rajendra Prasad Road in Chromepet have been unsuccessfully chivvying the State Highways Department to set matters right on this 1.5-km-long road. Now, these accidents are clearly a resounding call for action.

On June 23, T.N. Udayakannan, a retired government official was knocked down by a bus while crossing the road. “He suffered head injuries and was rushed to the Chromepet Government Hospital. He was given first-aid and then taken to a private hospital. But he succumbed to the injuries,” an official from Chromepet Traffic Police (Accident Investigation) said.

“Last week, a motorcyclist lost balance and fell off his motorcycle after he rode into a pothole and was run over by a truck. His legs were crushed under the wheels and he is in a critical condition. We have been shooting off petition after petition to the State Highways to crack down on encroachments and also widen the road, but they have all been ignored,” says C. Murugaiyan, secretary of The Federation of Civic and Welfare Associations of Pallavapuram Municipality.

The road is pockmarked with potholes, and its pavements often serve as extensions of shops.

CHENNAI,TAMIL NADU, 20/06/2019 : FOR DOWN TOWN : Rajendra Prasad Road in Nehru Nagar in Chromepet is a badly planned stretch in terms of civic infrastructure. The pavements are narrow on this stretch and are broken at many spots. Many shops are misusing the pavements as a display place for their products. Unauthorised parking is rampant here causing traffic blocks frequently on Thursday..Photo : B.Velankanni Raj /The Hindu

CHENNAI,TAMIL NADU, 20/06/2019 : FOR DOWN TOWN : Rajendra Prasad Road in Nehru Nagar in Chromepet is a badly planned stretch in terms of civic infrastructure. The pavements are narrow on this stretch and are broken at many spots. Many shops are misusing the pavements as a display place for their products. Unauthorised parking is rampant here causing traffic blocks frequently on Thursday..Photo : B.Velankanni Raj /The Hindu

Rajendra Prasad Road provides access to many localities in the region, including Chitlapakkam, Hasthinapuram and GST Road and also to many small streets.

Murugaiyan also complains about the poor execution of trench-digging works by government agencies on the road. The pits are never closed on level with the road. Such shoddy work puts lives at risk, he adds.

This road is a hive of activity. There are nearly a dozen marriage halls, two petrol bunks, a school, a bus depot, clinics, about 10 bank branches and ATMS, worship places, departmental stores, and a number of shops and stalls. As a result, two-wheelers and cars can be seen parked on the road at any time of the day. There isn’t a single parking zone on the road.

So, the road is choc-a-bloc with traffic. “This stretch is a study in poor civic infrastructure planning with no demarcation of commercial and residential zones. People are equally to blame. Despite it being narrow but a busy stretch with more than 22 MTC buses plying every day, cars and bikes are parked on the sides of the road throughout the day causing traffic blocks. Even during the rush hour, not a single policeman can be spotted here though the stretch is accident-prone. Pedestrian crossings are not marked anywhere. The Highways Department has neglected the maintenance of this road for years,” says V. Santhanam, civic activist and president of Federation of Civic and Welfare Associations of Pallavapuram Municipality.

Meanwhile, a State Highway official says that lack of cooperation from the public is a roadblock to restoring order here. “We have been cracking down on encroachments on the pavement every two months, but they keep returning. We will try to push the Pallavapuram Municipality as well as the traffic police to impose fines on shopkeepers who encroach upon pavements and motorists who park on the road.”

The official adds that patchwork to relay the section dug up by Tamil Nadu Water Development Board to lay pipelines is nearing completion and bitumen-topping will be done soon.

A traffic police officer says that two traffic police personnel have been deployed on the stretch. They will regulate traffic near NSN School in the morning and evening and will be present at the junction Rajendra Prasad Road and Chitlapakkam Main Road throughout the day.

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