CHENNAI: The rain-battered Poonamallee High Road has become the new battle ground between the NHAI and Chennai Metro Water as the NHAI has threatened to encash the bank guarantee given by the water utility over its failure to restore the road.
While Metro Water spokesman blamed the NHAI for not relaying the road, an NHAI official told TNIE that the fault lies with Metro Water. “They had taken permission a year ago to start laying water pipes by digging up a portion of the road. They promised to restore it, but never started the work,” the NHAI official said. “Their bank guarantee expired and we had sought a new one. Now they carried the work without informing us. If they had told us, we would have asked them not to proceed,” the officer said, and added that they would encash the bank guarantee if the road is not restored.
Metro Water said the board would oppose any move to encash the guarantee. “Our role is not to relay the road,” Metro Water sources said. Driving on the road has become a nightmare as it has been dug up at various places and excavated patches have not been re-laid. An auto driver said even stormwater drains get clogged because of the shoddy work leading to inundation. While commuters tripping due to slush is a common sight, office-goers and schoolchildren get caught-up in the gridlock. An MGR University professor said staff were delayed every day during the recent rains.