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Road Development

Civic body to take over 1 lakh sq. m. private land, widen roads

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The Hindu        21.11.2014 

Civic body to take over 1 lakh sq. m. private land, widen roads

Private land along Santhome High Road will be acquired to increase its width —Photo: M. Vedhan
Private land along Santhome High Road will be acquired to increase its width —Photo: M. Vedhan

The Chennai Corporation has identified 1.12 lakh sq. m. of private land and a number of notified open spaces along 11 city roads, for widening them.

The Corporation Council on Thursday passed a resolution for denotification of such open spaces to facilitate the work. The preparation of a land plan schedule for the purpose of acquisition has been completed.

The largest extent of private property (25,179 sq. m.) will be acquired along 4.7 km of Arcot Road, for increasing its width to 30.5 metre. Many parks and playgrounds in schools are also likely to be required for the road widening projects.

Work on Santhome High Road will improve its width to 24 metres. Private land on either side of the 1.6-km stretch — which, at present, is 18 metre wide — will be acquired. The 3.2-km-long Sardar Patel Salai will be widened from 20 metre to 30.5 metre, after acquiring 3,286 sq. m. of private land and 18,821 sq. m. of government land.

Vineetha Velayudhan, a long-time resident of ‘Sardar Patel Road, hailed the plan to widen roads, but expressed doubts on its effectiveness. “Even if the move is to ease traffic, nothing will happen without better traffic management. I don’t know if merely widening it is going to help.”

Transfer of development rights is likely to be used to help land owners affected by the project. The other roads to be widened include Nelson Manickam Road, Strahans Road, Perambur Barracks Road, Kaliamman Koil Street, Paper Mills Road and Sembium Red Hills Road.

Taking charge of manhole repair

The Corporation also plans to smooth jagged edges of sewer manholes on roads across the city. Currently, Metrowater has the responsibility of repairing the structures after roads are laid.

However, a number of such works were delayed following re-laying of many roads, causing difficulty to motorists. 

Under the new system, the civic body will include the cost of repair of such manholes during the preparation of estimates for a road project. The decision to change the system follows an audit objection raised on such works done by the Corporation in Teynampet, Kodambakkam and Thiru-Vi-Ka Nagar.


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)


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