CHENNAI: Until six months ago, Raja Ramanna Street in Chitlapakkam would turn into a ‘cesspool’ every time it drizzled, forcing many to avoid the stretch.
But now, it could well be the best road in the neighbourhood, as a prototype for interior streets in Tambaram Municipality.
Instead of cementing interior roads, the municipality has been exploring other options that address the issues that come up in concreting a road as one stretch. They have now zeroed in on the ‘concrete block’ method, employed on a trial basis to re-lay the Raja Ramanna Street in Chitlapakkam Panchayat. The stretch of 110 metres has been concreted at a cost of `5.5 lakh.
“Previously while- constructing cement roads, we had to leave out some space on the sides to allow water seepage, which led to silt formation and water-logging. With this new method, we can address these issues,” says Commissioner of Tambaram Municipality, N Ravichandran.
In this method, 6x3 inches concrete blocks are laid without leaving any space on the shoulders.
The grids will help in allowing water to seep into the ground, unlike the present design where rainwater is channelled away from the streets, often inefficiently, leading to water-logging.
“Not allowing water percolation is one of the major drawbacks of concrete roads. Using this method, we can address that,” added Ravichandran.
According to officials, more interior streets, especially in areas where there are frequent complaints of water-logging, will be taken up for re-laying under the City Development Plan of the Tambaram Municipality.
“The chairman and the council too have given support to this project. While the construction cost is higher, the maintenance cost for such roads is extremely low. If there is any damage, all that needs to be done is to replace the damaged block,” says an official.