Approach roads near Central to be widened

Work to be taken up after Assembly polls.

Chennai: As Chennai Central is to emerge as inter modal junction with the commissioning of metro rail, approach roads near the station are to be widened after the Assembly elections.

Chennai metro rail in principle has sanctioned funds for road widening. Arterial roads in north Chennai are also to be widened. Subsequently, Chennai collectorate and Greater Chennai Corporation vested with the job of acquiring land and clearing of encroachments, will resume the drive once a new government assumes office, a government official told DC.

There are at least three major road widening projects pending in Central and North Chennai due to polls. Now, with the government machinery focused on polls, the acquisition process is put on hold to avoid political tension. Stretches along Poonamallee High road, Vepery High Road, Mannady, Washermenpet, Tiruvottriyur High Road and Chintadripet have been earmarked. Land survey had also been partially completed and in few stretches, roads would be widened by 20 feet.

Compensation and plan of execution for land acquisition and clearing of encroachments are also ready and slum pockets near Central Railway station and Chindatripet MRTS stations will also be targeted, the official said.

The state government has earmarked a draft for metro transport policy and the priority will be to provide inter-modal connectivity. Access to approach roads, park and ride facilities, particularly for two wheelers are part of the upgradation project.

Several traders and residents along Vepery High Road are worried as government officials surveyed the area for land acquisition. “We do not know to what extent they will widen the roads and acquire our land, said a worried trader R. Nandagopal of Vepery, who owns a fibre glass manufacturing unit.

According to Chennai metropolitan development authorities who are working on a draft master plan for Chennai, encroachments have already been surveyed along Mass Rapid Transit System line. Most MRTS stations, including Mandaveli, (near Venkata Krishna Road) Greenways road (west side of station), east side of Kotturpuram, Kasturbha Nagar and rear side of Indira Nagar suffer encroachments. Hutments in Taramani will also be cleared in a few months.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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