Though delayed, Chennai to get stormwater drains for its 20 key roads. The traffic police, who had concerns about the digging up of roads 'fearing traffic congestion,' has now given the Chennai Corporation permission to resume work on the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission-funded project.
Devised by the Corporation and the Public Works Department, the project is a comprehensive flood-management plan aimed at reducing inundation in seven zones across the city, before the next monsoon. Its original estimated cost was Rs 1,447.91 crore, but now, even after dropping several stretches from its ambit and due to delays, will cost Rs 1,475.43 crore.
Roads that have been accorded sanction include TTK Road, Eldams Road, Kalki Krishnamurthy Salai, Dr. Muthulakshmi Salai, New Avadi Road, Cooks Road, MTH Road, Prakasam Salai, Anna Pillai Street and Pulianthope High Road. Stretches likely to have traffic diverted on them in the next few weeks include: the stretch linking Kalakshetra Main Road to Thiruvanmiyur signal; Third Avenue Indira Nagar to West Avenue; LB Road First Street to Third Avenue Indira Nagar Adyar Signal to First Avenue Sastri Nagar; Villivakkam Bus Stand to MTH Road; Perambur High Road to Otteri Nullah and Davidson Street to Mint Street.
For the last few years, the city traffic police had been stalling work on the drains, by towing vehicles of contractors involved in the project. This had led to a series of tussles between the police and Corporation engineers at several work sites across the city.