Elevated road along the coast till Kottivakkam was envisaged over a decade ago

The Madras High Court has asked the Chennai Corporation to study the possibility of constructing a new road connecting Light House on the Marina with Besant Nagar to reduce congestion.

Such a facility was envisaged over a decade ago and the elevated road was to run along the coast till Kottivakkam, via Besant Nagar. The idea was to take the strain off Santhome High Road, Greenways Road, Sardar Patel Road and Lattice Bridge Road.

“Rush hour is bad on these roads. If you take Greenways Road, it is lined with the homes of judges and ministers. Then Santhome High Road has six schools and is just a two-lane facility with no space for expansion. Traffic snarls on these roads are a common sight and during peak hour, it could well take vehicles between 25-30 minutes to cross from Light House to Thiru Vi Ka Bridge across the Adyar river,” explained V. Rajkumar, who works out of Karpagam Gardens and travels to Rajiv Gandhi Salai and Tiruvottiyur on a regular basis. A former official of the Highways Department said that the older proposal went up to the stage of fixing of alignment and submission of the detailed project report but had to be dropped due to opposition from several quarters.

“We had ensured that there was no disturbance to anyone, not even the fishing communities The AIADMK even made it an election issue in 2011 but dropped it after it came to power,” he recalled.

Taking off from this was the circular corridor running along the Adyar river from Malar Hospital to Miot, Mount Poonamallee Road, Porur Bypass, Ennore, Basin Bridge, Wall Tax Road and then back to Kamarajar Salai. However, even that remains frozen in time.

The road suggested by the court would perhaps run to a distance of 6-7 km, which would mean a cost of ₹1,200 crore and around 2 years to construct. “However, CRZ clearance would be required. If the government wills, this can be done. In Mumbai the Bandra- Worli link is on the sea, in Kolkata the Metro has gone under the Hoogli and there is a huge bridge across the mighty Brahmaputra. This road would really help reduce congestion,” said a retired traffic planner.

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