Some roads in north Chennai are in need of urgent attention
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Bad roads in and around areas where infrastructure development is in progress have made daily commute a nightmare for road-users. A case in point is Manali Salai near Ezhil Nagar. Several arterial and interior roads require urgent repairs, too

March 03, 2024 11:03 am | Updated March 04, 2024 02:43 pm IST - CHENNAI

A tough ride: Vehicles are often diverted through an unmotorable stretch at Glass Factory, Vyasarpadi, to facilitate the construction of a flyover across the Ganeshapuram subway.

A tough ride: Vehicles are often diverted through an unmotorable stretch at Glass Factory, Vyasarpadi, to facilitate the construction of a flyover across the Ganeshapuram subway. | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

Road projects may be in progress in parts of north Chennai, but there are a number of stretches that are in dire need of attention. While bad roads in and around areas where infrastructure development is in progress have made daily commute a nightmare for road-users, a number of arterial and interior roads require urgent repairs. Visits to Pulianthope, Pattalam, Vyasarpadi, Muthamizh Nagar, Kodungaiyur, Royapuram, and some parts of Perambur and Parrys have showed that they have a mix of roads in good and bad shape. In some parts, residents are unhappy with the way in which new roads were laid or patchwork was executed in disregard to road evenness, gradient, or the storm water drain inlets.

Nevertheless, as a number of residents and road-users pointed out, there is no relief from congestion, haphazard parking of vehicles, or erratically placed garbage bins that eat into road space, a scene that is common in many parts of north Chennai.

A number of previously damaged roads such as Decaster Road, New Farrance Road, Basin Elephant Gate Road, Stephenson Road and Stephenson Lane have been laid, much to the relief of road-users.

‘A struggle every day’

Road-users who have to travel through areas where infrastructure development is in progress are inured to the bad road conditions. Take Manali Salai near Ezhil Nagar, for instance. The construction of a railway overbridge is in progress, but the stretches are unmotorable. “It is a struggle every day to ride through this stretch. It is bumpy throughout, and the authorities can at least consider the plight of motorists and lay a temporary surface,” said Ravikumar, a regular road-user. A shopkeeper said vehicles plying on the battered stretch kicked up dust, worsening the situation. “Though a protest was held recently, the authorities did not lay the road; instead, workers sprayed water on the road to control the dust,” he added.

Similarly, vehicles, particularly two-wheelers and autorickshaws, are often diverted through an unmotorable stretch at Glass Factory, Vyasarpadi, owing to the construction of a flyover across the Ganeshapuram subway.

A part of M.S. Koil Street at Royapuram is in a bad shape. Some residents and shopkeepers said the laying of drainage lines was completed nearly a month ago, but the road was yet to be restored. “Though the traffic is regulated, the road has turned dusty,” said Rajni, a resident.

Battered and dusty: A part of M.S. Koil Street at Royapuram is in a bad shape. Some residents and shopkeepers say the laying of drainage lines was completed nearly a month ago, but the road is yet to be restored.

Battered and dusty: A part of M.S. Koil Street at Royapuram is in a bad shape. Some residents and shopkeepers say the laying of drainage lines was completed nearly a month ago, but the road is yet to be restored. | Photo Credit: Akhila Easwaran

Uneven roads

Lokabiraman of Jamalia Nagar said sections of the Perambur High Road (south), towards Paper Mills Road, below the Murasoli Maran flyover need attention. “The Greater Chennai Corporation laid three stretches — Hyder Garden Extension, Jamalia Link Road, and State Bank Officers Colony First Street — in a year. But the gradient was not maintained. We have also been asking for speed-breakers on interior lanes for four years, but nothing has happened so far,” he said. He added that Corporation officials do not inspect road work. When roads are being relaid, storm water drain inlets are covered with tar, a resident of Pulianthope said.

Moorthinagar Street at Vyasarpadi, which always remains damaged, needs patchwork on certain portions, especially at the Dr. Ambedkar College Road junction. On Sathyamurthy Nagar Main Road, a badly damaged portion that was long left uncared for has been covered with loose sand. Similarly, portions of the stretch leading to and after the Vyasarpadi subway (Basin Bridge) need repairs. Jai Ganesh L.M, a resident of Muthamizh Nagar, said the East Avenue Road, one of the key stretches that people access to reach two schools and the market area, had started wearing off before the floods. “It is damaged and should be repaired soon. I raised complaints and the authorities said they would take up repairs after the rain, but nothing has been done so far,” he said.

At Manali Pudhu Nagar (Manali New Town), residents are drawing the attention of the State government towards a stretch that can cut short their travel distance to Wimco Nagar Metro Station. “There is a heavy flow of traffic, especially of container lorries. We have to travel nine kilometres to reach Wimco Nagar through Ponneri Road, Andarkuppam, MFL, TPL, Sathangadu, Sathyamurthy Nagar, and Jothi Nagar. Instead, there is a stretch from Manali Pudhu Nagar that leads to Sadayankuppam and Jothi Nagar. It will cut the travel distance to Wimco Nagar down to four kilometres. If this road is laid, it will be of immense help to us,” said Thenkanal Isaimozhi, a resident.

A priority

A Corporation official said road projects were a priority and they were planning to complete new projects and patchworks by March-end. “We had taken up a lot of work before the floods. We had to halt it in November for the monsoon, and re-started it by the end of December. We also noticed that a number of roads were damaged during the floods and started work on them in January,” he said. After the monsoon, stretches that required patchwork were identified and the work was taken up.

Several road projects are in progress in Zone 3, Madhavaram. “Being an extended area, a lot of road projects are being taken up here,” he added. The official said that if roads were relaid at places where infrastructure projects were under way, they could keep getting damaged. “So we are working with the police for alternative routes. But the grievances of road-users are genuine, and we will consider their request for making stretches motorable,” he said.

The official said the Corporation was removing abandoned vehicles from arterial and interior stretches, while the police acted against illegal parking on roadsides.

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