Chennai: Alapakkam Salai is a two-way stretch connecting Valasaravakkam with Maduravoyal and Poonamallee High Road over a distance of 2.9 km.
The road that was 10 metres wide is now being expanded to more than double – 25 metres – while the length will also see 600 metres being added to it.
The public are immensely happy having heard about the development. According to Narasimhan, a regular at this stretch, the widening work would facilitate seamless flow of traffic.
He added that the main problem with the road was the unauthorised parking of vehicles which reduces the width to a paltry six metres.
“The road is encroached by many business establishments. Being busy, it faces maximum traffic as it is the main link road. Adding fuel to fire is the fact of it being used as parking space by certain colleges on the road,” said Abhisek, a resident of Alapakkam Salai whom this scribe met at the spot.
“The widening works is most welcome and I am personally happy about this project and more so to learn that the administrative sanction has been received,” he added.
An official of the Highways Department, on condition of anonymity, said the widening project has been in the pipeline for quite sometime and it recently received administrative approval and expenditure sanction.
He further added that the widening of the road would bring about a permanent solution to the problems of this road vis-a-vis, traffic bottlenecks, encroachments, etc.
As of now, 64,500 sq ft of land has been retrieved, of which 25,000 sq ft was government land. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 8.2 crore, he said.
The Revenue Department surveyed the whole portion of the land and 52 persons have been fined Rs 42 crore for encroachments, said sources. The work is going on at full swing now.
The Highways official said the CMRL had proposed to widen the Alappakam Salai but that did not fructify. “This is why we decided to increase the length of the road by 600 metres. There is a demand / request from the public to widen the remaining possible length of the road also. But, for this, we have to get a separate sanction and the process is under way.”
“We are all very happy with this project having been started and we hope the widening work is completed without any hindrance,” said Usha Ramani, echoing the feelings of the residents of the area.
She adds that it would be a boon for all and particularly to school-going children as they have faced the maximum trouble due to the problems till date.