December 5, 2016
The congestion on the city roads is increasing by the day. At least 500 new vehicles are registered in a day in the four RTO offices in the city, which is about 15,000 vehicles in a month. These new vehicles add to the existing congestion on the arterial roads due to which mayhem prevails. The city roads are bursting at their seams.
“If the rising road causalities and the death toll reported – 258 killed, 1,253 injured (2015 figures) – are any indication, the city road infrastructure definitely needs an overhaul. If roads have become a death trap for citizens, lack of new road infrastructure projects and the absence of flyovers and rollover bridges only add to the problems,” said K Kathirmathiyon, Member, District Road Safety Committee.
Even the Gandhipuram flyover work is progressing at a snail’s pace. Observers allege that the delay is due to the to the lack of coordination between the various implementing authorities. Though mooted in 2002 and started in 2012 with March 2017 set as deadline for the project completion, even the first stage of the project has not been completed.
The city badly needs at least a dozen rollover bridges at vital road junctions and intersections. The Ukkadam flyover project, the implementation of which was announced in the state assembly under Rule 110 by Chief Minister Jayalalitha, is still in cold storage. “Not even a brick has been laid till date,” Kathirmathiyon said.
Though 60% compliance in helmet wearing is a good sign, commuters and road users continue to be on the receiving end. The signal systems have also failed at vital intersections due to heavy load of traffic from all four directions. “Expediting projects such as the integrated bus stand at Vellalore, building new bypass roads, ROBs and circular roads, and addressing the parking problem in the city are some of the measures which need to be implemented on a war footing,” say consumer activists.