Incomplete flyover at Keelkattalai causes traffic chaos

The incomplete Keelkattalai flyover.

A Keelkattai resident, P Elamparuthi, expressed his dismay over the long-pending flyover construction work at Echankadu junction on Pallavaram – Thoraipakkam Radial Road at Kovilambakkam, Chennai.

According to him, if officials delay the work any further, it will lead to a mass protest by the residents of both Kovilambakkam and Keelkattalai as the pending work is causing traffic chaos on a daily basis in the neighbourhood.

The Keelkattalai flyover, as it is called, is one of the projects announced under former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s rule. Each flyover would be 700 metres long and have three-lanes. With an estimated cost of Rs 64 crore, the construction work got kick started during September 2016.

“The project of the State Highways Department was supposed to be completed in 30 months according to the proposal, that is, March, this year. But, even today, there is no further development beyond the erection of pillars,” said the resident.

Elamparuthi, said, “The sole purpose of this flyover is to streamline traffic on Medavakkam Main Road and Pallavaram – Thoraipakkam Radial Road. But delays in constructing it has only aggravated the situation. Before the flyover came into picture, there used to be heavy traffic on both the roads with very long signal times. Impatient motorists used to dart across Echankadu signal so as to reach their destination on time. But, during the process, some have even landed in accidents as motorists are usually aggressive at the spot having waited for a long time. All these things lead us to think a flyover on the Radial Road was necessary so that vehicles need not stop at the junction.”

“But ever since the work started, we have been put to even greater hardships. The space for vehicles got shrunk and the congestion of vehicles became ever longer. Needless to say about the waiting times which too witnessed a hike. So, for us, travelling from Keelkattalai to the next stop, Kovilambakkam, was like reaching another country with the Radial Road acting like a barrier. Same was the case with those on the latter. School children and office goers, because of this menace, have to start earlier if they want to reach their destination on time,” he added.

Elamparuthi feels there is more to it than meets the eye. “Keeping traffic snarls aside, the entire spot is filled with construction debris and dusty sand. Half the portion of the radial road is filled with sand that was dug up for erection of pillars. Officials never did anything to clear the spot. When large number of vehicles traverse through the stretch, dust rises to the sky. Needless to say about the effects they cause to our body. So, I urge officials to complete the work within the next couple of months,” he ended.

This news report is based on the inputs of P Elamparuthi, a resident of Keelkattalai. He is our Neighbourhood Journalist of the Week.


S Ben Raja