Ayanavaram zone has its own quota of civic woes

CONGESTION: Narrow roads and encroachments make life difficult for residents of Zone-IV (Ayanavaram). A scene near the Villivakkam Railway Station.

CONGESTION: Narrow roads and encroachments make life difficult for residents of Zone-IV (Ayanavaram). A scene near the Villivakkam Railway Station.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: S.Thanthoni

Deepa H Ramakrishnan

Lack of bus connectivity, delay in railway level-crossing work are some of them

CHENNAI: With individual houses and gardens lining up the narrow roads on which even one car could cause a traffic jam, vendors pushing jasmine carts in the evening, and office-goers depending on the local train, this Corporation zone looks like how most of Chennai was a couple of decades ago.

Zone IV — Ayanavaram — doesn’t have major civic concerns as compared to the rest of north Chennai but it does have its share of problems, including lack of bus connectivity, delayed work on a railway level-crossing, lack of electrification of crematoriums, delay in clearing garbage from interior roads and non-functioning streetlights.

“The Ainsley canal that is meant to carry stormwater carries sewage instead. In areas such as the Konnur High Road stormwater drains laid by the Corporation don’t seem to serve their purpose. They serve as sewage lines instead,” said K.Ramadoss, vice-president of Exnora International and a resident of Ayanavaram.

Crematoriums on the Chennai-Tiruvallur High Road, GKM Colony and Poompuhar have not been electrified and people are forced to go to the Besant Nagar crematorium. “Streetlights don’t burn properly and when we approach the Corporation, they say they don’t have enough spare parts,” he added.

M. S. Gnanavel, a resident of Jawahar Nagar, said interior roads were not being cleaned by Corporation conservancy staff. A separate facility to deal with garden garbage was also needed. The local library was not being maintained properly, he said.

“The different colonies in this area need a definite improvement in infrastructure. Power cuts are becoming common. We need more pressure on water lines. We don’t have enough bus services to T. Nagar and Anna Salai and residents are forced to depend only on EMU trains.”

This zone is dotted with pieces of property belonging to the railways, including schools, residential quarters for staff, Integral Coach Factory, a stadium and a reservoir. The last mentioned, which served as a major drinking water source for the area, now has water hyacinth plants floating on top and the water is piped for other purposes.

Not much headway has been made in the widening and renovating of the Loco Works rail overbridge that is over a century old. Also, the delay in the construction of the subway at level crossing gate (No.2) leads to congestion at level crossing gate (No.1). The approach road to the Villivakkam station is in bad condition and there is no proper space for commuters to park their vehicles.

The Zone Chairman V.S.J.Srinivasan said new stormwater drains were being laid for over five kms to connect all drains. “We want to finish work before the monsoon because there is water stagnation in the Kolathur area. Funds for the Loco Bridge widening and renovation work have been allocated and bids are expected to be invited soon. The work on the railway subway will also begin soon.”

All pending work for the zone has been speeded up and would be completed in a time-bound manner, he said. The zone has capital funds ranging from Rs.16 crore to Rs.30 crore, which would be utilised where necessary.

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