Chennai: Rainy days, damaged roads and motorists’ woes

Motorists have tough time manoeuvring potholes on many stretches, especially interior and small roads

CHENNAI: Most roads in the city are in a bad shape, as the recent spell of rain has rendered them hard to motor on. Motorists have to manoeuvre potholes on many stretches, especially on interior and small roads where no emergency repair works have been undertaken.

Shaik Maistry Street in Royapuram with many schools in the vicinity is a specimen of a badly damaged road because of large number of container trucks using the narrow road.

SLICES OF RAIN IMPACT: Motorists struggle on a damaged road near the Perambur subway on Sunday. Photo: V. Ganesan and S. S. Kumar

Triplicane High Road has also been badly affected. K. Naseeruddin, a resident, said that manoeuvring the stretch between Ice House police station and Triplicane post office was a nightmare.

A small stretch of Deputy Mayor Kabalamurthi Salai in Chintadripet is another accident-prone point for two-wheeler riders. The stretch, dug up sometime ago, saw the fatal accident of a 39-year-old woman earlier this month. She was run over by an MTC bus after she slipped and fell off a bike near the Periyar statue on Anna Salai.

D.G.S. Dhinakaran Road, where pits have been dug near manholes for drying up of roads, was also bumpy. Residents of AGS colony in Velachery complained that a large portion of the road had been cut by Corporation officials for draining of rainwater.

Damage to vehicles

Stretches of roads, including Murrays Gate Road in Alwarpet and Cenotaph Road, also bear potholes. “The suspension, steering box and shock absorber of many of the vehicles get damaged,” said P.D.John, a car driver. The number of customers seeking repair increases during the rain, said V.Selva, a mechanic.

Pedestrians seem better off on water-logged and pot-holed stretches. Two women seen walking through rain in Mylapore on Sunday. —Photos: V. Ganesan and S. S. Kumar

Corporation officials noted that roads were damaged during rains also because of the inferior specifications for roads in some areas on account of budgetary constraints. According to contractors, clayey soil in areas such as Anna Nagar, West Mambalam and Perambur make roads prone to damage.

The length of interior roads in the city is around 2,700 km when compared to the 300-km-long roads used as bus routes. Mayor M.Subramanian said the damage for a chunk of the total length of roads is due to cutting of roads for providing services such as metrowater, electricity and drainage connection.

The civic body tried to temporarily repair some roads on bus routes, including Erukkancherry High Road, Rajaji Road, Flag Staff Road, Paper Mills Road, Taylors Road, Mayor Ramanathan Road, G.N.Chetty Road, Kaliamman Koil Street, Spur Tank Road, Usman Road, Walajah Road and Cathedral Road. “We have taken short-term measures to repair bus route roads. Interior roads would be repaired soon after the rains,” said Mr.Subramanian.

Residents of Injambakkam Village Panchayat on East Coast Road and Okkiyam Thoraipakkam panchayat on Rajiv Gandhi Salai also complained of acute problems relating to waterlogged and battered mud roads in their localities.

Inspecting the waterlogged areas of Royapuram, Harbour and Perambur constituencies on Sunday, Mr. Subramanian said 996 km stormwater drains had been desilted. Waterlogging has been considerably reduced except in areas such as Ganesapuram in Vyasarpadi, he said.

The Chennai Corporation has also made preventive medical intervention for 38,949 people residing in low-lying areas of the city by conducting 232 medical camps. The Meteorological Department said that the low pressure area remains, but a gradual reduction in rain was expected on Monday.

Review meet

Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Sunday convened a review meeting at his residence to asses the impact of the monsoon. Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, Law Minister Duraimurugan, Chennai Mayor M. Subramanianand Corporation Commissioner Rajesh Lakhoni participated in the meeting. The Chief Minister urged them to remain alert and speed up the relief works, a press release said.

From THE HINDU

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