Restrictions on movement of vehicles on Abusali Street, which connects Arcot Road with Kaliamman Koil Street in Virugambakkam, due to the lockdown has helped Greater Chennai Corporation officials have the stretch relaid.

It must be noted that this road was dug up by the Chennai Metrowater for its pipeline project, damaging many parts of the stretch, and it is being re-laid with bitumen after nearly a year.

Prior to the lockdown, continual movement of vehicles including school vans had hampered road-relaying work.

With a limited number of workers, the civic body managed to relay the entire one-km-long road which connects key neighbourhoods such as Saligramam, Dasarathapuram, Chinmiyanagar, Koyambedu with Ashok Nagar, Virugambakkam, K.K. Nagar and Vadapalani via Arcot Road.

Mounds of leftover sand were removed and blue metal was used to level the intersection with Arcot and Akilan Street in Saligramam.

The height of the stretch was raised by one feet above the existing stormwater drain inlets to ensure smooth discharge of excess rainwater and to prevent flooding in the neighbourhood during monsoon.

“We are happy that Abusali street has been re-laid before the onset of the northeast monsoon. Overgrown trees should also be pruned so that the street lights brighten up the road,” says S. Venkatesan, a motorist from Virugambakkam.

The water pipe-laying work was part of the third phase of the drinking water pipe-laying work of the Metrowater, which would supply water from Kilpauk Water Works and the desalination plants in Koyambedu. A majority of the neighbourhoods in Saligramam and Chinmiyanagar, including Annamalai Colony, State Bank of India Colony, Velayutham Colony and Venketasha Nagar, rely on piped water supply.

Corporation officials point out that relaying of key stretches were carried out during the lockdown at a slow pace due to shortage of workers.

Workers were provided with facilities to stay near the work site and food was supplied. Safety kits including face masks and hand sanitisers were given and regular screening was done. As per norms, for any road-cutting works include that which is required to carry out utility cables-laying work, pipeline work and provision of drainage connections to households, the respective agencies should pay road-cutting charges to the civic body. Money raised from collection of road-cutting charges will be spent on the road-relaying work by the civic body.

“Additional facilities including reflectors, a tiled footpath and CCTV cameras will be provided on the stretch,” says a Corporation official.

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