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Road Development

Corporation begins restoring roads dug for laying UGD pipelines

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The Hindu      18.08.2014

Corporation begins restoring roads dug for laying UGD pipelines

‘Civic body has obtained funds from Govt. to re-lay roads’

The Thair Itteri Road in Coimbatore that wasre-laid by the Coimbatore Corporation recently.— Photo: M.Periasamy
The Thair Itteri Road in Coimbatore that wasre-laid by the Coimbatore Corporation recently.— Photo: M.Periasamy

In the next couple of weeks, the Coimbatore Corporation will be busy restoring those roads that were dug for laying the underground drainage (UGD) pipelines. The work will happen on a priority basis, as the objective is to restore the roads before the next spell of rain, says Commissioner G. Latha.

The work to restore the roads started about a couple of days ago. The roads measuring more than 20 km are spread over five wards in the North Zone and 12 wards in the East Zone.

The work involves filling earth over the pipelines to pack the trench-like dug portions and then packing them with cement and concrete and then levelling the place so that road users have a more-or-less flat surface to drive on.

The Corporation has thus far dug 190 km roads. Of those, roads measuring 153 km were bitumen-topped ones. The Corporation has restored 131 km of those bitumen-topped roads.

More than 40 km roads were earthen roads, which the Corporation has restored using earth and gravel.

Ms. Latha says that the contractors, who undertook the UGD pipeline laying work, are busy restoring the roads. Three engineers in the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission wing are supervising the work.

Once the restoration work is complete, the Corporation will then go for laying the roads, for which the civic body has already floated tenders.

Ms. Latha says that restoring the roads to motorable condition is a contractual obligation of the companies that bagged the contract to lay UGD pipelines. Re-laying the roads is the Corporation’s job and the two works ought not to be confused.

For re-laying the roads that were dug and damaged, the Corporation had obtained funds worth more than Rs. 50 crore from the State Government and had re-laid a number of roads.


Drive along glow-in-the-dark roads

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The Hindu               18.02.2014

Drive along glow-in-the-dark roads

It can be an exhilarating experience for motorists to drive down roads that have good reflectors, at night. Though East Coast Road has had these for several years now, the Chennai Corporation, in a welcome move, has started insisting even newly-laid interior roads get them.

Some of the recently re-laid main roads in Anna Nagar and Nanganallur are proof of this. A senior engineer with the Corporation said they have made it mandatory for road contractors to fit reflectors as they have always been a part of their contract agreement.

In recent times, there have been innovations across the world when it comes to materials that illuminate the road. Eco-friendly ‘glow-in-the-dark’ roads are being built to serve the multiple purposes of energy conservation, safety and aesthetics. In Netherlands, the government has starting laying a ‘smart highway’ where the roads are being sprayed with photo-luminescent powder that illuminates the stretch in the night after being ‘charged’ during sunlight hours.

A UK-based company called ‘Pro-teq’ has developed a chemical coating, ‘Starpath,’ that is being deployed in some parks and public areas there. The chemical coating in ‘Starpath’ absorbs and stores the energy from ambient light (UV rays) during the day and releases it at night, creating a glowing effect. This eliminates dark corners in public areas, reduces carbon credits by cutting down on streetlight electricity bills and is also touted to be environment friendly.

Outdated facility

Thirty-three in number, the tall red boxes holding phones came handy during times of emergency when East Coast Road to Puducherry became a toll-road facility in March 2002.

When cars met with accidents, frequent at the time of formation of the road due to presence of many curves, people dialled the helpline and an ambulance and patrol vehicle rushed to the spot to help the injured. The vehicle involved in the accident would be moved to the side of the road so as to not impede traffic movement.

Now, 12 years later, the helpline booths are no longer used to make calls to those who man the toll plazas at Uthandi and Hanumanthai. “Everybody has a mobile phone these days, and therefore, the phone booths are redundant,” said a source in Tamil Nadu Road Development Company, which manages and maintains the road.

In the past four years, they have received only four calls and that too, only from children trying to find out what the rusty boxes are for, said a source. Chennai Bypass from Tambaram to Red Hills too used to have such emergency booths but those are now in a decrepit state and nobody maintains them. TNRDC is contemplating the removal of the phones.

(Reporting by Karthik Subramanian and Deepa H. Ramakrishnan)


Thyagaraya Road gets a makeover

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The Hindu             17.02.2014

Thyagaraya Road gets a makeover

Traffic along Thyagaraya Road in T. Nagar is likely to ease after relocation of the Pondy Bazaar vendors —PHOTO: B. Jothi Ramalingam
Traffic along Thyagaraya Road in T. Nagar is likely to ease after relocation of the Pondy Bazaar vendors —PHOTO: B. Jothi Ramalingam

At last, Thyagaraya Road in T. Nagar looks like a six-lane stretch.

After the relocation of roadside vendors, the road that stretches from Panagal Park to Anna Salai-Teynampet junction looks broad and wide. Traffic markings indicate that it indeed is a six-lane road but for years, it remained clogged as vendors had occupied a part of the road, mainly the Pondy Bazaar stretch.

Now, the vendors are slowly moving into the shopping complex built by the Chennai Corporation. On Sunday, all shops on the first floor were open. On the other floors, only a few shops were open. Despite the relocation however, there is the possibility that some of the hawkers could go back to the road.

Already, half-a-dozen shops sell their wares from outside the complex despite being allotted space inside. Hawkers in the complex allege that some shops have been sub-let. However, Mohammed Hakim, secretary of Rajiv Gandhi Footpath Shops Association that represents footpath shops on Usman Road, said all shops allotted to them have been taken.

“I have a shop on the second floor and sell belts and footwear. Some of them don’t have the money to establish their shops and are taking time setting them up,” he explained. According to Mr. Hakim, all persons who have been allotted space will move in within two months and the rest of the hawkers must approach the government and seek relocation.

Shopkeepers say they are yet to form an association but on each floor, the occupants have appointed a person to sweep and mop the floors every day. “We collect a small amount every month towards maintenance of our space,” said S. Syed Ibrahim, who sells curtains.

The T. Nagar Residents’ Welfare Association members, however, are still sceptical. “We are fed up with the government and police inaction. We are worried that the expansion plan for the Usman Road flyover will result in more hawkers,” said K. Swaminathan, a resident of Usman Road.


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