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Flyover Work Kicks Up Dust

Local residents and traffic cops posted around the Thirumangalam junction complain of respiratory issues due to pollution caused by the ongoing flyover construction work

Published: 10th November 2014 06:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th November 2014 06:01 AM   |  A+A-

Thirumangalam-junction

CHENNAI: For the thousand of motorists and residents heading to the western part of the city, the struggle starts right at the entrance, from the Anna Arch itself. Once a serene neighbourhood with wide, well-laid roads, the stretch now is a nightmare due to the ongoing water, flyover and Metro Rail works, say the public in unison.

As the grade seperator work on the Anna Arch junction is going on, the ride on the road resembles a bumpy country road trip - minus the scenary, but posing dangers.

Further down the road near Anna Roundtana, the Water Resource Department of the Public Works Department (PWD) has dug up road in the middle of road to construct  box type channel to divert excess rainwater from Otteri Nullah through a link with the cooum near Brewery Road in Anna Nagar couple of weeks ago. This has congested the already busy road that leads to the western suburbs.

Similarly, the Metro Rail work on the Second Avenue road, the stretch between Roundtana and Thirumangalam junction, has rendered it a one-way for long, and beyond that is another flyover construction work that has reduced the area a dust bowl.

“This dust pollution is mostly affecting the children and also the elderly who have wheezing problem — like a member of our family for instance whose condition has gotten worse because of this. This is one of the busiest areas in the city where thousands of motorists use the road daily, but look at the condition of roads. There is no sign of completion of the long-pending flyover construction work as well,” said  54-year-old Raji, a resident of Thirumangalam.

“I cannot walk without covering my nose with a thick cloth. Crossing this junction is a risky affair. I some times even regret having come to the city,” said C Sundara Murthy from Virudhunagar district, who joined a company in Thirumangalam recently.

The plight of traffic police personnel is worse. The men at the police booth in the junction told CE that they could not work without masks on their faces. “It has been six months that I have been manning the traffic here. I feel that for every day that I spend at this junction, my life is reduced by one day,” said a traffic policeman.

According to Dr B Raja Gopalan, Head of the Pulmonary Department at Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Hospital, the dust levels would definitely put those suffering from lung problems, asthma and bronchitis etc., at high risk.

During winter, the condition of such persons worsens in general, and this excess pollution piles up more miseries on them. “Though dust pollution does not have same effect on everybody, people who are constantly exposed to it, like traffic policemen, those who travel long distances on two-wheelers etc .,  will be affected more. They may get wheezing, frequent coughs after they develop dust allergy,” he added.

A State Highways Department official said that construction of a 220 metre ramp on the Koyambedu side of the flyover at Thirumangalam is the only work that is pending, which was stopped temporarily due to rains. But it will be resumed soon, and the bridge work will be completed by the end of March or first week of April, he said.  “Currently, the road patch work is going on. This will be completed in another week. We have completed construction of stormwater drain on one side of the road, while work will begin soon on the other side. This will prevent water stagnation that is one of the main reasons for damaging the roads,” the official added.

Meanwhile, according to PWD officials, 1,330 metres of the total 1,450-metre work has been completed already. The remaining 42-metre portion near the police station is still left because of traffic diversion problem. “It will take another 2 to 3 months to complete the work fully,” he said.



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