“One of the major reasons delaying the reconstruction of road is the presence of illegal hutments. In 2005, a case was filed in the Madras High Court, after which the concerned departments cleared 90 per cent of the hutments in 2016. However, there are encroachments still present in the area”, rued T.D. Ramalingam, President, Sabari Ayyapan Nagar residents association.
He added that the Thirumullaivoyal road, which was originally about 40 feet wide, has shrunk by half after hutment dwellers illegally occupied the space.
A few residents themselves have been delaying the road relaying process because the road would only be 15 feet wide if it is repaired now, whereas the removal of the remaining encroachments would make it 40 feet wide.
According to some people, necessary arrangements were made to relocate the hutment dwellers in Morai village in Ambattur taluk, but they refused to move.
School students are among the worst hit. There are at least five schools located in the stretch. M. Janakiraman, a school student said, “It takes a minimum of half an hour to travel from Thirumullaivoyal to Sabari Ayyappan Nagar. If the road is reconstructed, it would not take more than 15 minutes”.
Another major issue plaguing the area is the presence of a storm water drain in the middle of road in Saraswathy Nagar in Thirumullaivoyal. Residents say that drainage water gets mixed with rainwater and seeps into borewells. When contacted, an official said the delay in reconstruction is due to lack of funds.