CHENNAI: The Rukmani Lakshmipathi Road at Egmore has become a much-dreaded route for motorists and pedestrians as it has been dug up for nearly a month now. The Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board has been carrying out works to lay additional sewage and water pipes.
The metrowater board officials told Express it would take at least 10 more days to relay the road as they are still checking for leakages in the pipes. "Outside the eye hospital (Government Ophthalmic Hospital, Egmore) an extra water pipeline and near the fire service building an additional sewage pipeline have been laid. We have also installed new valves at two spots which have been barricaded. Only after we have checked for leaks, can the road be re-laid by the Chennai Corporation,” said a metro water official from ward 61, zone five (Royapuram).
During peak hours, traffic slows down and comes to a complete standstill, creating road blocks in the Binny Road-Marshalls Road junction and Binny Road-Rukmani Lakshmipathi Road junction. “From 8 to 10 am and 4 to 7 pm, the entire one-kilometre stretch is blocked with traffic. During these timings, I turn off the signal and manually regulate traffic,” said a head constable of traffic police stationed at the junction.
Last month, these workers had accidentally disconnected the underground telecom cables rendering the fire service 101 emergency number inaccessible for callers. The road which has been reduced to one-fourth of its original width has been dug up on both sides with mounds of debris dumped on the pavements.
Motorists face the brunt of this problem as sand and loose gravel stones are strewn around this road. “At least three to four two-wheeler riders skid and fall every day. Only after people from the main office raised a complaint, few workers came and cleared debris from the entry and exit points of the hall. Otherwise, people coming to attend a wedding themselves slip and fall,” said a security guard at Rani Meyyamai Hall.
Pavement vendors said nobody stops to buy anything from them anymore because of the dust flying around. “People don’t stop to have a glass of muskmelon juice even in this heat because of the dust from the sand on the road,” said a fruit juice vendor. “Corporation workers collected the debris and dumped it right next to where I sit. I leave for home early because of this,” said another vendor who sells socks.