Commuters in the city are facing a torrid time due to severe traffic congestion at the road intersections near Kallukuzhi as the construction of the multi-level road overbridge (ROB) near the Railway Junction drags on. The Highways Department has been unable to complete the Chennai arm of the ROB as the Ministry of Defence is yet to give approval to provide a piece of its Land for the project.
Construction of the first stage of the flyover began in 2014 and was scheduled to be completed by February 2017 and the second stage by 2019. Although over 85% of the first stage of the project has been completed, the Highways Department could not complete the Chennai arm of the bridge yet.
The Highways Department has sought about 2,685 square metres of the Defence land and of this, only 1600 square metres were required for the first stage of the project. The Highways Department has been pushing hard to get the in-principal approval. Recently, even Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami made a representation to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman seeking her help in getting the Ministry’s approval for transfer of lands for this and a few other projects in the State. But the approval is yet to come from the Ministry, sources said.
Meanwhile, traffic snarls become the order of the day at the ROB site. The service lane leading towards Railway Junction from Mannarpuram and the sharp intersections under the bridge have emerged as major traffic bottlenecks. Vehicles pile up to Mannarpuram at times, especially during nights, when a large number of mofussil buses head towards the Central bus stand.
“The situation is very bad. It takes not less than 15-20 minutes to negotiate the small stretch of road during peak hours. The poor condition of the road in front of P&T Colony and the intersections near Kallukuzhi beneath the bridge are leading to frequent accidents too”.