Chennai Metro Rail work | Roads in city are in a shambles again after floods

Ever since the Metro Rail phase II project took off, quality of roads in the city has worsened; be it Vadapalani, Valasaravakkam, Arcot Road, Perumbakkam or Sholinganallur, even arterial roads are in bad shape and patchwork too has been poor, claim residents

Updated - January 11, 2024 12:03 pm IST

Published - January 09, 2024 10:58 pm IST

Officials say they will attend to complaints about roads at the earliest. They are trying to speed up the work along Arcot Road first.

Officials say they will attend to complaints about roads at the earliest. They are trying to speed up the work along Arcot Road first. | Photo Credit: M. Srinath

Ever since Chennai Metro Rail Limited started building the massive phase II project, traffic congestion aside, commuters have been having roller-coaster rides on the roads in many parts of the city. There was some much-needed relief when the contractors relaid the roads in some parts just before monsoon. But this hasn’t lasted long and just after Cyclone Michaung hit the city, the condition of roads became pitiable again in many areas.

Be it Vadapalani, Valasaravakkam, Virugambakkam, Arcot Road, Perumbakkam or Sholinganallur, the condition of roads which were relaid or where patchwork was done has been far from satisfactory, commuters say.

Also Read | Chennai Metro Rail (CMRL) : 30 metre-long ‘U girder’ launched

The 116-km phase II commenced along Arcot Road a few years ago, as two stretches (Poonamallee-Porur and Porur-Power House) will be opened in another two years. After numerous complaints, roads were relaid recently. But commuters say it is a pity that only patchwork has been done in some parts and even that has been done poorly. The patchwork has already started disintegrating at some locations like Vadapalani and Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR).

Bumpy ride

S. Arumainathan, president, Virugambakkam Resident Welfare Association, says he travelled from Virugambakkam to Vadapalani a few days ago and it was a bumpy ride. “They have relaid roads but it has not been done professionally. The contractors have not planned the work well. On Kaliamman Koil Street, nothing has been done so far and it is a nightmare to walk or travel through that road,” he adds.

The condition of roads which were relaid or where patchwork was done has been far from satisfactory, commuters say. A view of the Arcot Road at Kodambakkam.

The condition of roads which were relaid or where patchwork was done has been far from satisfactory, commuters say. A view of the Arcot Road at Kodambakkam. | Photo Credit: M. Srinath

This affects not just senior citizens but also hundreds of schoolchildren in this area, he says. “They could trip and fall from their cycle. When they are spending thousands of crores on this project, the roads they lay should at least last a year until the next monsoon. Otherwise, it is a pointless exercise,” he adds.

The OMR stretch that already grapples with severe traffic congestion after the phase II construction work started also suffers from damaged roads. The situation has worsened after the recent monsoon and the flooding caused by Cyclone Michaung. Roads in areas, including Thoraipakkam, Perungudi and Kandanchavadi, are among the worst-affected; they need to be restored at the earliest, residents and commuters say.

Traffic slows down

Bad patches are many on the road, which slow down traffic. “During the rain, the concrete covers of the ducts were broken to drain the water. The covers have steel rods, and holes have appeared on the service lanes, which have also sunk at many places,” says Veeravel, a resident.

Vidyasagar Jagadeesan says the stretch between Perumbakkam and Sholinganallur and between Medavakkam and Kovilambakkam are worse. He says travel through these stretches is physically and mentally stressful for commuters and the wear and tear of the vehicles becomes higher.

“Such infrastructure projects take years to be completed and until such time, commuters are subject to a lot of inconvenience, be it traffic diversion, congestion and reduced road space. The least they can do is to provide decent quality of roads. Otherwise, commuting through the city during the Metro Rail construction will continue to be a nightmare,” he adds.

Commute takes time

A resident of Medavakkam, who did not want to be named, says it takes much longer to commute owing to the current state of roads on the Sholinganallur-Medavakkam stretch. “As against 20 minutes needed to cross the road, it takes at least an hour. The potholes are large. Though patchwork was done twice after the Metro Rail work began, no repairs were made after the December rain,” he says.

Harsha Koda, co-founder of the Federation of OMR Residents Associations (FOMRRA), says the patchwork done at several places along OMR is shoddy. “For the number of vehicles that run on OMR, it has been in a very bad shape for quite some time. After the monsoon, the condition of the roads in the area has only worsened. It is high time they did a professional job of relaying the road,” he adds.

Repairs under way

According to officials of Chennai Metro Rail Limited, relaying roads was a top priority and quickly completed before the monsoon set in. “But we understand that some of the roads were damaged by flooding at Perumbakkam, Medavakkam, and Sholinganallur. Repairs and relaying are under way at many locations and we will finish the work this week. In the other areas like Arcot Road, we will attend to the complaints at the earliest,” an official says. They say they are also trying to speed up the work along Arcot Road first.

(With inputs from Deepa H. Ramakrishnan)

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.