Chennai roads; now disappearing in a location near you!

Chennai roads are unique in that they are water soluble. A number of days of rain with standing water and hey presto, the road starts disappearing. This phenomenon happens right across the city: Cenotaph Road, Cathedral Road, OMR…..just about everywhere. The OMR, which carries very heavy traffic to and from the IT parks every day has to be experienced to be believed. One can see the difference sometimes day by day.

Keerthi had, in his post about an amusement park on the OMR, written about the roller coaster ride kind of feeling as one navigates in and out (yes, in and out!) of the huge potholes, depressions or faults in the road. These have become worse since then. The road is barely motorable in places, and traffic routinely spills on to the opposite side to avoid the worst craters.

Perungudi is an interesting case in point. There is always a large section of the road under water near the Perungudi bus stop. All the traffic has to plough through this stretch to come towards the city. The road at this point has not been visible for a very long time, and over this period, has developed a deep trench right near the bus stop. It’s so deep that even buses and lorries lurch into it at an alarming angle before climbing out again. So much so the traffic has now begun to spill over to the other side to avoid this trench.

When, oh when are we going to have roads that last? When are we going top have contracts drawn up with accountability built in so that the builder has to relay the surface if it does not last a stipulated period of time? (Leave alone one monsoon). India has made so much progress in many areas, but in the matter of roads, especially within the cities, it is still very poor. I guess the reason is that road works are a major source of income for the politicians, who are not really worried about the quality of the surface laid. For the more frequently it has to be re-laid, the more often they get to make money.

2 Comments so far

  1. musafir (unregistered) on November 17th, 2006 @ 6:13 pm

    Look at the positive side. If it keeps raining continuously then the water supply problem will definitely not exist.
    And also, we could probably call ourselves the “Venice of India” and give up our cars and bikes, buy nice speed boats, catamarans, etc.

  2. irfan (unregistered) on November 21st, 2006 @ 11:08 am

    Nice comment musafir, yes the water problems will be solved but thats only if we can somehow find a way to store the water. Our land is soo dry that most of the rain water gets seeped into the land which tries to relinquish its dryness in the first place.
    Also the problem with rain water is that since the streets are dirty, the water in turn is a nasty grey/black and would not be as nice as Venice.


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