Chennai: Delay in renovation of rail overbridge irks motorists

Sources said that GCC and Southern Railway decided to equally share the cost of reconstruction after the latter refused to fund the whole project.
The delay in the renovation of the rail overbridge (ROB) at Elephant gate in North Chennai, due to a cash crunch and lack of coordination between the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) and Southern Railway, has crippled the vehicular movement causing heavy traffic snarls in old Washermenpet, Tondiarpet, Central and Pallavan Road.

Sources said that GCC and Southern Railway decided to equally share the cost of reconstruction after the latter refused to fund the whole project. However, officials say that they are unable to bear the cost of land acquisition.

“The work was commenced in April and since then, motorists and auto drivers have been struggling as only alternative route available to reach the nearby suburbs is 4 km longer,” said Uma Maheshwari, an auto driver. Moreover, the workmen have left iron rods and other construction materials in the middle of the bridge, posing a risk of accidents.

M. Gunasekran, a motorist plying on the road said, instead of making traffic diversions, authorities must hasten the pending construction work of the bridge and restart the traffic flow. Vehicles take 15 to 20 minutes to cross the bridge in peak hours, which can worsen if it continues at the same pace.

Lately, the officials have stopped heavy vehicles from entering the bridge. “Wall Tax Road serves as a connecting stretch to North Chennai, but the restriction of heavy vehicles, including lorry, trucks, and buses from entering the stretch has put us into hardship. Even four wheelers are blocked,” rued one of the lorry drivers in the area. A few sources have also said that the bridge might be closed for traffic soon, meaning nearby areas like Poonamallee High Road, Wall Tax Road, Pallavan Salai, Rajah Muthiah Salai, Perambur Barracks Road, and Pulianthope High Road would soon choke.​

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