Chennai

‘Set Choolai Main Road free’

Much of the stretch is now out of bounds for pedestrians and motorists

The reconstruction of Elephant Gate bridge has turned Choolai Main Road, behind the Moore Market complex, into an accident prone zone.

The bridge was closed last year to facilitate the construction work. A narrow stretch of Choolai Main Road has become the key route for motorists from all major neighbourhoods to reach the wholesale market on NSC Bose Road in George Town and Seven Wells via Mint flyover.

As it is an important bus route road, motorists use it to reach Broadway and other areas via Mint flyover.

“Choolai Main Road is wide and has neatly-laid concrete footpaths. However, the space has been encroached upon by wholesale wood traders, turning the 40-feet road into a small pathway,” says K. Shanmugam, a resident of Broadway.

Shanmugam and many others feel clearing encroachments on the stretch will ensure better movement of traffic and also prevent accidents.

A few months ago, traffic police put up a few steel poles as median at certain spots to prevent accidents. This has further reduced the total width of the stretch.

Efforts by civic officials to remove hawkers from both sides of the road did not help much as encroachers return the same day.

Finding an alternative place for the hawkers to conduct their business is the best way to restore the original width of the stretch, said motorists.

“Action will be taken against those who encroach upon the road space,” said a Corporation official.

At present, traffic on Raja Muthiah Road, formerly known as Sydenham’s Road in Park Town is a one-way. Vehicles from PH Road are allowed to use one side of the stretch towards Choolai direction.

The other side, between Periyamet police station and Ripon Buildings is a no-entry zone ever since Metro Rail used it to facilitate construction of its western entrance of its station until a few months ago.

A portion of the Ripon Buildings was acquired for this purpose five years ago. Likewise, vehicles from Choolai and Periamet on Baker Street use the link road abutting the Periamet police station to reach the PH Road at Central railway station.

This one-way arrangement to reach the PH Road at Chennai Central and Broadway is more of a hindrance, therefore motorists prefer the Choolai Main Road to reach Broadway.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 12:17:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/set-choolai-main-road-free/article26745952.ece

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