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Driving on these roads can be a nightmare

Staff Reporter

Drains can be provided along the sides of roads to prevent stagnation, say experts



BIG TRENCH: Vehicles avoid a big trench in the middle of the road near Sai Nagar off Chinmaya Nagar, on Saturday. — Photo: S. Thanthoni

CHENNAI: The rains may have subsided but the scars remain. Several stretches of the city roads have become unmotorable after the continuous spell of rains. The worst affected stretches include Rukmani-Lakshmipathy Road (Marshalls Road) in Egmore, New Avadi Road, some stretches of Purasawalkam Main Road and Medavakkam Tank Road. Roads in Ayanavaram, Mandaveli and Purasawalkam have also been badly damaged with potholes making it a difficult ride for motorists.

The western part of the city comprising Virugambakkam, Saligramam, and Chinmaya Nagar saw heavy inundation thrice this year, and for four days to a week during each round of flooding. The residents not only had to endure the stink of overflowing sewers, wade in muck filled roads but when the water dried up had to negotiate stretches filled with craters.

For example, the road leading from Koyambedu towards Virugambakkam and Chinmaya Nagar is heavily damaged, though it sees huge traffic loads everyday.

Some of these roads were only laid recently. However, the rains have eroded the top layer creating potholes. After the heavy rains and subsequent battering that the city roads took in 2002, the civic agency had come up with the idea of using rubberised bitumen to strengthen the roads and prevent erosion. However, that does not seem to have worked in the recent rains.

Experts say that the only way to prevent erosion of roads is to provide proper drains along the sides of the road to prevent stagnation. Though such provisions are made in contracts for road construction, they are seldom followed. Also, roads are to be laid after analysing the gradient flow of the region. A senior contractor, on condition of anonymity, said such analyses are seldom undertaken. Recently, in a report submitted to the Commissioner (Revenue Department) to be forwarded to the Central Government for aid, the Corporation had assessed the damage to city roads at 380 km of interior roads, 95 km of bus route roads and another 85 km stretch of main roads maintained by the Highways Department. The Corporation has demanded around Rs. 390 crores to carry out the repair works.

On Saturday, the civic agency called for tenders for 14 bus route roads, including the badly damaged Perambur Barracks Road in Perambur, Raja Annamalai Road, EVR Salai, Ashok Nagar Eleventh Avenue and Burkit Road.

Senior officials said repair of roads had been accorded top priority and would be completed within the next three months.

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