CHENNAI: Want to enjoy off-roading? All you need to do is head to the Corporation Road in Perungudi.
The back-breaking road has not been relaid for half a decade and is filled with craters and potholes. The 500-m stretch is a key link to residential colonies, hospitals and schools in Thoraipakkam and Perungudi. Since the road also connects Perungudi dumpyard and Chennai Metrowater Supply and Sewerage Board Bay area, at least five tanker lorries ply along the stretch at any given time of the day. As a result, some of the potholes are more than two-feet deep.
“There is an issue with the underground metrowater pipes. Each time the civic body lays the road, pipelines break within a few months and the road caves in. As this kept happening, the Corporation stopped laying roads, five years ago. It is utter chaos now,” said J Selvaraj, a local resident.
A visit to the area showed motorists battling clouds of dust, to get through the stretch. “During evenings when there is a breeze, we feel like there is a dust storm. One cannot even see vehicles coming from the opposite side. In this case, it is lorries. Vehicles keep skidding and motorists have suffered grievous injuries. Long-term exposure will also lead to health issues,” said another resident, Sai Pallavi.
What is worse is that the stretch houses two hospitals, two private schools and a children’s park. Hotel owners along the stretch say they are running in losses due to the bad roads. “Even if we prepare the food right when the customer orders, by the time it reaches the table, it ends up becoming a dust bowl. We have not seen any business over the past five years. Similar is the plight of other small food kiosks in the area,” said a 43-year-old woman running a tea and snacks stall in the area.
When contacted, a Corporation official from Perungudi zone said nearly 10 lines of pipes, which are at least 25 years old run underground. They break one after the other each time roads are laid. “The metro water board has proposed to lay new pipelines in the stretch. Once the work is finished, new roads will be laid.” The work is expected to take at least two to three years to complete. The official did not make any comments on the temporary arrangements.