If Rajiv Gandhi Salai (OMR) is the state’s Silicon Valley, Sholinganallur is its capital San Jose. But that is not how the authorities see, complain residents citing pothole-riddled service roads.
During the peak hours, the service roads are thronged by motorists as vehicles occupy the main stretch, thereby helping them bypass the traffic and signals to reach their office or home without delay. But with the unpaved roads, the traffic movement becomes slower on the service road leading to a traffic snarl on either side of Rajiv Gandhi Salai.
Arul Selvam, a techie from Tambaram, says he switched to two-wheeler from car as it used to help him cut short the commuting time, but he has gotten back to car as he has started to wait endlessly on the saddle. “It is better to be stuck in traffic in a car than a bike,” he says.
Kavitha Srikanth says that the authorities started laying the stretch with paver blocks and stopped midway for reasons best known to them. “Though the platforms are missing at many places, replacements are delayed. This causes stagnation of rainwater, which makes life more dangerous for motorists. We request them to fix the missing bricks early so that we have adequate space for pedestrians, who find it very difficult to walk on the stretch now,” she says.
Sukumar, another resident of OMR, said that the other major problem they face is the encroachment of the service lane by eateries. “These shops get crowded in the evening hours which affects traffic. What is worse is the IT companies misusing the service lane as their parking lots. They are supposed to allow visitors to park vehicles on one side of the lane to leave sufficient space for two cars to move along. However, the bikes are parked on both sides of the lane leaving little space for vehicle movement,” he says.
Corporation officials, when contacted, said that OMR including the service lanes and pavements are being maintained by Tamil Nadu Road Development Company Ltd (TNRDC) and added that the service lanes were dug to lay underground cables. TNRDC officials were not available for their comments.