CHENNAI:Ambedkar Main Road, a small road parallel to the Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) from Thiruvanmiyur to Okkiyam Thuraipakkam, is often used as an alternative route to the busy OMR. However, the stretch, which is adjoining the Buckingham Canal beyond Kottivakkam, is a poorly-laid cement road dotted with potholes and craters. What’s more? Residents of the area on the border of Kottivakkam-Palavakkam area are upset as the road on the Kottivakkam side is a properly laid tar road, while the condition of the Palavakkam stretch and beyond is not the same.
“The ward councillor of Kottivakkam belongs to the ruling party, while our area’s councillor belongs to the Opposition party. This is the reason why we have to face this apathy,” rued a shopkeeper in the area. ‘
A Chennai Corporation lady staffer, who works in the same area, added that the road was in a bad shape, despite a number of motorists using the stretch during peak hours. “There are a number of small-scale industries operating in this area. Many mini vans and trucks bring in raw material or take out goods. The badly-maintained road is a big issue for them and the Chennai Corporation officials are aware of this,” she added. However, residents in Kottivakkam, while crediting their councillor for the swift improvements in roads in their area, said that it was up to the residents to demand facilities. “Ruling or Opposition doesn’t matter. We have continuously demanded better facilities from the councillor. It helps that he lives in the same area,” said a middle-aged woman. However, the shopkeeper in Palavakkam said that most of the houses and shops, including his, did not have a patta or registration. “Either the authorities should evict us completely or give us all the facilities properly. This half-hearted approach does not help anybody,” he said. When contacted by CE, the Palavakkam councillor said that the work on laying a new tar road would be taken up once the funds were allotted.