Traffic diversion, road-block upset Rameswaram Road residents

Published - May 14, 2024 10:50 pm IST

Street full of troubles: Entering or exiting Rameswaram Road at Thyagaraya Nagar is a nightmare.

Street full of troubles: Entering or exiting Rameswaram Road at Thyagaraya Nagar is a nightmare. | Photo Credit: Akhila Easwaran

Traffic changes on South Usman Road have left residents of Rameswaram Road, which connects Ranganathan Street to the Duraiswamy Subway at Thyagaraya Nagar, frustrated and fuming. Days after polling for the general election was over, the Tamil Nadu government announced that a portion of the flyover on South Usman Road would be demolished and entry to and exit from several streets along the stretch would be blocked. The announcement added that the inconvenience would last only till the year-end.

Tough to clear

For the residents, the nightmare had just begun. Vehicular traffic from Mangesh Street, Rangan Street, and Ramanathan Street has been diverted through Rameswaram Road to reach South Usman Road.

Anandi, who was riding a two-wheeler to work, said it took 10 minutes to clear traffic block near Rangan Street as several goods carriers were trying to edge their way into Ranganathan Street. “I managed to enter Rameswaram Road but could not exit it,” she said.

Suriyan Basheer, a long-time resident of the street, said, “There are two autorickshaw stands, and they [the drivers] are nonchalant even when it is difficult to manoeuvre. They will chide us for using the road.”

Ambulance held up

R. Mohan, a resident of Rangan Street, said, “If the barricades were moved by 100 yards towards the Panagal Park on the Rangan Street side and towards Burkit Road on the other side, the movement of vehicles under the flyover would ease congestion on Rameswaram Road.” He recalled that a few days ago, an ambulance was stuck in the congestion for 30 minutes while trying to navigate the stretch.

The Greater Chennai Corporation laid storm water drains two years ago on Rameswaram Road. But the drains are higher than the road level, pushing people to use a narrow stretch. “The engineering marvel has shrunk the road space,” Mr. Mohan said.

Accidents and near-misses

Mr. Basheer said that on a day several accidents and many more near-misses happened because of the poor road structure. Mr. Mohan has written to the Chief Minister’s grievance cell and to the Commissioner of the Greater Chennai Corporation . But he is yet to receive a response. GCC Commissioner J. Radhakrishnan said work on a portion of the bridge was complete and the construction was being fast-tracked. “There was a delay in getting police permission. Now that we have received it, work has begun. As far as local issues are concerned, we will form local committees to address them,” he said.

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