The National Highways Authority of India had proposed to widen the CTH road into a six-lane facility a decade ago, but had to drop the plan following stiff opposition from the local traders. The State Highways Department, which took over the maintenance of the 22 km Padi-Tiruninravur stretch of the CTH road from the NHAI, proposed widening the road by allocating Rs 168 crore for land acquisition.
After much delay, the department undertook widening of the stretch end wherever land was available, at a cost of Rs 98 crore in December 2013. With number of vehicles growing each passing year, the width of the road has now become inadequate, leading to frequent traffic congestion and accidents.
K Venkatesan, a resident of Avadi, lamented that traffic on CTH road has gone up after COVID lockdown was relaxed. “It takes more than 40 minutes to reach ICF from my house due to traffic congestion during the peak hours. The road should be widened without any further delay,” he said.
Consumer rights activist T Sadagopan, a resident of Pattabiram, said CTH road has become notorious for accidents. “So many lives were lost due to accidents. But the Highways Department has not made much progress in acquiring land for the six-lane proposal,” he said, adding that the delay in the widening the road was also impacting the developmental works like drainage projects in Avadi.
Sources in the Highways Department said road widening work would be taken up once the land acquisition was completed.