Ahead of monsoon, over 3,000 interior roads, 100 bus routes found damaged in Chennai

Digging by civic agencies and the recent rain have made commuting difficult; arrival of the northeast monsoon will worsen the state of the roads

Roads in various parts of the city have been damaged owing to the recent rain and digging of roads by line agencies.

More than 3,000 interior roads and 100 bus routes have been reportedly damaged. Chennai has over 33,000 interior roads and 471 bus route roads.

Residents and motorists have been complaining to civic officials regarding the difficulties faced by them. Mogappair resident Jaswant Singh said roads in the area had been damaged by the work taken up by line agencies in the past few weeks. “Rain has worsened the situation. They dug up roads two months ago. The roads are still in a bad shape,” said Mr. Singh.

‘Not given importance’

S. Swaminathan, secretary of the JAMBA United Welfare Association (a federation of residents’ welfare associations of Mogappair West), said the Chennai Corporation had stopped according importance to re-laying of roads in the past few years.

“Many accidents have been reported in the area. Most of the roads were re-laid four years ago. The stretches have a number of potholes.

Cement concrete roads have also been damaged. For example, the road leading to the Mogappair West Bus Stand has been damaged and steel rods have been exposed, causing injuries to people,” said Mr. Swaminathan.

Egmore MLA K.S. Ravichandran said he had visited Ripon Buildings thrice in the past few days, requesting senior engineers of the Chennai Corporation to re-lay 450 damaged roads in his constituency. The Egmore Constituency comprises six wards of the Chennai Corporation.

“They have assured that the roads will be re-laid. I am planning to meet with the Corporation Commissioner with the same request,” Mr. Ravichandran said.

Roads such as A.P. Road, Choolai High Road, Alagappa Road, Ritherdon Road and Motilal Street in Pulianthope are among those damaged.

“A few spots are prone to accidents. The onset of the northeast monsoon may cause more damage,” said Mr. Ravichandran.

“Fifty per cent of the roads in Harbour Constituency have been damaged. The reason for damage is the delay in restoration of roads after improvement schemes by Chennai Metrowater.

After digging up roads, TNEB (Tamil Nadu Electricity Board) workers fail to restore it. Patchwork has also not been done for one or two years in many stretches,” said Sekar Babu, Harbour MLA.

Residents said some of the damage to roads has been aggravated by the labourers who dig up roads and steal the telecom and Electricity Board materials during the course of work. There is no monitoring of such practices. For example, a few workers had reportedly dug up a road in the Chintadripet area a few weeks ago and stole valuable utilities of other line agencies.

Water stagnation

Former Corporation Congress councillor S. Mangala Raj said the recent rain had damaged roads such as the D.G.S. Dhinakaran Salai and the Lazarus Church Road. “The Corporation has failed to re-lay roads properly or prevent water stagnation. Many roads in areas such as T. Nagar have also been damaged. It [the condition of the roads] may worsen after the onset of the northeast monsoon,” said Mr. Mangala Raj.

Risk of accidents

Residents of roads such as the Nungambakkam High Road, Kothari Road and Luz Church Road have complained about damage to roads at a few spots increasing the risk of accidents to motorists and pedestrians. A portion of Lloyds Road at the junction of Gopalapuram 2nd Street has also been damaged, residents said, adding that interior roads in areas such as Choolaimedu are also in a bad shape.

Chennai Corporation officials said tenders for re-laying of roads will be floated shortly. “We have identified 900 roads for re-laying,” said an official.

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