Chennai’s interior roads face troubles

Chennai: In the bustling suburbs of Chennai, inhabitants of newly incorporated areas such as Manapakkam, Madipakkam, Mugalivakkam, Pallikaranai, and Jalladampet had eagerly anticipated a better quality of life when their neighborhoods fell under the jurisdiction of the Chennai Corporation. However, what followed was a bittersweet transformation that left them facing a significant inconvenience – the sorry state of their interior roads.

This exclusive report by News Today sheds light on the challenges faced by these communities and the measures taken by the Chennai Corporation to address them.

Inhabitants in these areas had rejoiced at the prospect of improved civic amenities. However, their joy quickly turned to frustration as they witnessed the roads being dug up for Metrowater’s pipeline installations and the construction of stormwater drains.

These two crucial projects aimed at enhancing the area’s infrastructure were being executed simultaneously, causing severe inconveniences to commuters. Interior roads became nearly impassable, and the neighborhood’s unity faced its sternest test.

In Manapakkam and Mugalivakkam, inhabitants found themselves in a quandary as vital interior roads were torn asunder to make way for water pipes, sewage lines, and stormwater drains. While these amenities were essential for the long-term well-being of the area, inhabitants lamented the timing of these projects, leaving arterial roads unusable and interior roads in ruins.

The ongoing Metro Rail work on St. Thomas Mount-Poonamallee Road further compounded the issue. Inhabitants of these areas had to rely on alternative routes, such as Manapakkam-Mugalivakkam Main Road, Madhanandapuram Road, Mariamman Koil Street, Sabari Nagar, and Mettu Colony, to access the main road. However, the extensive roadworks had made commuting to work and taking children to school a nightmare.

H Vinoth, a resident of Manapakkam, voiced the community’s grievances, stating that interior roads branching off the Manapakkam-Mugalivakkam Main Road were in deplorable condition, including those at Lalithambal Nagar, Mariamman Koil Street, and Mettu Colony. While a portion of the Manapakkam-Mugalivakkam Main Road had been resurfaced, the entire stretch required attention for motorists to find relief.

In Manapakkam, Metrowater had dug up roads for underground drainage but had yet to relay several crucial arteries, including Valleeswaran Koil Street, Nehru Street, Balaraman Street, Natarajan Street, 40-Feet Road, Marvel River View County Road, and the Manapakkam Main Road. Heavy vehicles occasionally became stuck in the slushy roads, leading to traffic snarls. Inhabitants pleaded with the civic body to prioritize road restoration.

Mugalivakkam inhabitants faced similar woes as interior roads were excavated for stormwater drains, despite existing drains on one side of the roads. Madipakkam and Pallikaranai inhabitants weren’t spared either, as their roads were dug up for underground drainage projects in areas like Ram Nagar South, Kuberan Nagar, and Kuberan Nagar Extension.

Ram Nagar South and Kuberan Nagar inhabitants, who had long battled flooding during the monsoon season, were left with deteriorating roads and a sense of uncertainty for the upcoming rains. P. Ramakrishnan, secretary of Kuberan Nagar Residents’ Welfare Association, urged Metrowater to collaborate with the Chennai Corporation to expedite road repairs, as the inhabitants traveling to Velachery Main Road and Medavakkam Main Road faced severe hardships.

Amid the mounting concerns, Corporation Commissioner J. Radhakrishnan assured inhabitants that road restoration efforts were underway. He revealed that bids had been finalized for the restoration of 8,000 interior roads since he took office. The work was poised to commence in various suburban areas recently added to the Corporation.

Regarding the dilapidated road conditions in Madipakkam, Radhakrishnan disclosed that 370 roads were earmarked for restoration, with work already underway on 85 streets, including Kauvery Rajapuram. He expressed the aim of completing 200 roads before the monsoon season arrived and urged local officials to expedite repairs on main access roads at Ram Nagar and Kuberan Nagar.

In areas like Manapakkam and Mugalivakkam, where infrastructure had lagged behind, the civic body had already relaid over 800 kilometers of roads to coincide with the development of essential amenities. Although work had started in Mettu Colony, Mariamman Koil Street, and Sabari Nagar Second Main Road, unseasonal rains in the region had caused delays.

Dr. Radhakrishnan emphasized the importance of stormwater drains in low-lying areas like Manapakkam and Mugalivakkam to prevent flooding. While the civic body had initially planned to expedite road repairs, unexpected rainfall had temporarily halted the process.

In light of the inclement weather, the Commissioner assured inhabitants that interior roads in Manapakkam and Mugalivakkam would be temporarily restored to prevent vehicles from getting stuck in potholes and slush. As the inhabitants continued to endure these challenges, they hoped for swift action and relief from the Chennai Corporation, turning their collective patience into a testament of resilience in the face of adversity.

This exclusive report by News Today highlights the pressing issues faced by these communities and the ongoing efforts to restore their roadways amidst the backdrop of significant civic development in the area.