CHENNAI: The Cathedral Road was one of Chennai's VIP route until the times of former Chief Ministers J Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi, since both has residences off this road. But for the last two months the road was dug up for Metro Water pipeline work for about two kilometers making it a distant memory of the once meticulously maintained road.
The prolonged pipe-lying work on this busy stretch has filled it with 'jalli' stones and at many places the terrain is so uneven that its a nightmare for motorists. Metro Water officials told Express the delay is mainly due to the police restricting them to dig the road only for 20 metres at a time.
From Stella Maris signal till Gemini signal towards Nungambakkam and from US Consulate till Music Academy, a part of the road has been dug up for two months now.
Near Music Academy, locals said the dug up patch was being refilled with cement a week ago, but the remaining patch hasn't been relaid yet. Also, along this 50 metre stretch under the Royapettah-Mylapore flyover, construction debris from a building site is spilling onto the road, making matters worse. "In the evenings, under the bridge there is severe traffic jam because of the dug road. On top of this, cars are parked on the road further narrowing it," said a security guard of a restaurant on the road.
When morning and evening classes at Stella Maris get over, students said they find it hard to maneuver through traffic with loose stones filled on the roads. Suresh Kumar S, a resident of CIT colony who regularly crosses Music Academy said, "Usually it takes only 10 mins to cross Stella Maris signal but after the road was dug up I have to wait in traffic for nearly 25 mins even on weekends."
Officials said that the project to replace old water pipes with new ones will be completed by August 24, after which Chennai Corporation will start the road patching work. "We are able to replace only two pipes at a time. And it takes time to place the pipes without disrupting any electricity cables. We have completed 80 percent of the work. Rest will be completed by month end," said a Metro Water official.