Inefficient encroachment removal draws Chromepet residents’ flak
CHENNAI: Chromepet residents and activists are disappointed by the inefficient removal of encroachments by the State Highways Department at Rajendra Prasad (RP) Road on Wednesday, where a 17-year-old girl was run over by an MTC bus on Monday morning when she was cycling home after taking part in Independence Day celebration at her school.
Several residents alleged that despite repeated complaints, both in written and verbal forms, to various departments from 2019, no actions were taken.
It took the death of the school girl for the authorities to initiate action.
Speaking to DT Next, Muralitharan Kannan of Bharthipuram, an IT professional, said, “It seems innocent lives have to be sacrificed for the government officials to do their duty. We have been repeatedly requesting to remove the encroachments due to which width of the road has shrunken by a large extent over the years.”
The drive undertaken on Wednesday did not satisfy the residents and activists. Observing the encroachment removal work, David Manohar, an activist from Chromepet said only encroachments like thin sheet projections outside shops, name and signboards and ramps were removed. “Other encroachments have been ignored,” he complained.
Pointing out that the survey being conducted by the Highway Department, which ignored the geo electric pole that is encroaching a large portion of the road was inadequate, he insisted that the Revenue Department has to do a thorough survey.
“A team comprising Tambaram tahsildar, surveyor and officials from Highways should immediately survey the road. Followed by this, encroachments that are permanent in nature should be removed by following procedures like issuing notice before demolishing the illegal encroachment. Unfortunately, departments are failing at this,” added David.
Highlighting the encroachment by the state-owned power utility, he also pointed out the placement of junction box on the road in a haphazard manner at Pallavaram, Chitlapakkam and Chromepet.
Residents complained that despite repeated requests to remove encroachments, shopkeepers refuse to do so claiming that they were paying money to local councillors. Officials did not respond to calls despite multiple attempts.