Cycle track, walkway along Buckingham Canal

Rajiv Gandhi IT Expressway in Taramani will soon become another recreational spot where the city residents could engage in physical activities like walking and cycling, as the Greater Chennai Corporation is in the process of preparing a detailed project report (DPR) to overhaul the banks of Buckingham Canal.
The urban space project is planned on the bank of the Buckingham Canal, connecting Taramani and Tiruvanmiyur
The urban space project is planned on the bank of the Buckingham Canal, connecting Taramani and Tiruvanmiyur

Chennai

According to a Chennai Corporation official, the urban space project has been taken up to boost non-motorised transport in the city. “Under the project, we will create walkway and cycle track along the Buckingham Canal from Madhya Kailash Junction to Tidel Park signal. The project will connect Kasturba Nagar, Taramani and Tiruvanmiyur MRTS stations,” the official said.

As the civic body is planning to create the urban space on the eastern bank of the Canal, the Expressway would not be disturbed. Also, the thick unwanted vegetation along the bank would be removed to make way for new avenue trees. The project would come on a 2.2-km stretch, said officials, adding that they were also planning an eviction drive to remove encroachments.

Presently, the Buckingham Canal on the 2.2-km stretch is almost covered by thick vegetation and carries sewage water.

“The project will be taken up at a cost of Rs 20 crore under Tamil Nadu Urban Road Infrastructure Project (TURIP). Government approval for the project has been received and a detailed project report is under preparation,” M Govinda Rao, Deputy Commissioner (Works) of Chennai Corporation, said.

When asked whether the civic body would develop an urban forest along the Canal, Govinda Rao clarified that the civic body would plant trees but not in a scale to be termed as forest.

Another official said that cycle sharing facilities have already been provided on IT Expressway in order to connect three MRTS stations on the stretch. “Existing cycle sharing on the road will facilitate the cycle track and walkway planned under the urban space project,” he added.

Though the civic body is expecting the detailed project report in two months, the official hinted that the completion of the project would take longer as the Chennai Corporation has to get no-objection certificate from the Public Works Department, which maintains the Buckingham Canal.

“We should also get clearance from the Environment Department. As the Canal belongs to the Public Works Department, we will not do any work on the Canal including desilting. Our project is to provide recreational space and promote non-motorised transport,” the official explained.

Meanwhile, apart from Buckingham Canal, the Chennai Corporation is also contemplating to take up a similar project on the banks of Mambalam Canal. As Mambalam Canal is maintained by the Chennai Corporation itself, the officials are planning more comprehensive project on its banks.

Apart from cycle track, walkway and plantations, the Mambalam Canal would undergo a complete makeover, as the civic body would also desilt the canal and plug illegal sewage inlets polluting the canal.
Plan on track
  •  Cycle track, walkway will come up on the eastern bank of the Buckingham canal
  •  The 2.2-km stretch will connect Kasturba Nagar, Taramani and Tiruvanmiyur MRTS stations
  •  Chennai Corporation is preparing detailed project report
  •  A rough estimation of Rs 20 crore is prepared, and funds would be sanctioned from Tamil Nadu Urban Road Infrastructure Project (TURIP)

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