CHENNAI: Manickam, an auto driver, takes more than half an hour to commute on the five- km stretch from Vijay Nagar bus stand to SRP tools, on Old Mahabalipuram Road. Thanks to the inordinate delay in six-laning of Taramani Link road that has been stopped due to canal linking work.
The six-laning of the two-lane road, connecting IT expressway to Vijay Nagar junction, one of the busiest spots at Velachery, began in 2009 but was shelved after the canal work, that would ease Velachery from flooding, was started. Work on the four- km long canal was started to divert excess rainwater to the South Buckingham canal. On one side of the road, canal work is progressing. The other side, which is open for vehicles from both directions, gets congested. According to residents, even with light showers, the road gets water-logged.
“The worst scene here is after 8.30 am and 5 pm It is difficult for vehicles to move even by inches,” Manickam added. “I don't remember when the work started. But it has been going on since as far as my memory goes. As only one side of the road is used by vehicles, it causes a lot of traffic on this stretch,” said Rajalakshmi, who sells coconuts near Tata Consultancy Services office at Baby Nagar.
The Public Works Department (PWD) had handed the canal work to Ramalingam Construction Company Ltd. (RCCL) on contract basis for two years. “The work began in 2010 and our contract was for two years. We faced issues in the box culvert process as the terrain here is rocky. So, it was difficult to go on with the drilling process,” said a site engineer from RCCL. “Major portion of the work is over and we expect to finish it by this year end,” he said. The contract that was supposed to end in 2012, has been delayed by over four years now.
The PWD chief engineer was not available for comment.