Accidents are rampant on Medavakkam Main Road between Vanuvampettai and Keelkattalai in Chennai thanks to encroachments on widened roads. There is a fear among motorists to pass the stretch especially during dark.
Though work to widen the stretch began a few years ago, it has not brought much joy, for encroachments on roadside has spelt more trouble. The road is now very narrow and accident-prone. Though the extension work is expected to be completed by June, unless encroachments are not removed, it won’t serve any purpose, say many.
“Due to the stormwater drain work, our entrances were blocked and the number of customers considerably reduced. Concrete and sharp stones on the road punctured the tires of our vehicles at least once a week,” says Durai, who runs an eatery here.
“Encroachments should be removed or otherwise widening of the stretch will not serve any purpose. Electricity poles have been dangerously erected in the middle of the road, parked vans and trucks dot either side of the road,” he added.
With no proper footpath, pedestrians are forced to walk on the middle of the road. Their safety is at stake. Vikas, a college student who lives in Ullagaram, says, “One of my friend met with an accident here. The road is narrow due to illegal shops occupying the roadsides. Authorities should take necessary action.”
“Officials should look into the issue of encroachments seriously. Once widening work gets completed, they will not supervise the stretch. As a result, the number of encroachers will only increase,” says N Krishnan, a resident of Madipakkam.