CM’s scheme road announcement disappointing, say activists

‘The Corpn. should include at least one road from each of the five zones’

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin’s announcement on Monday that the government would fund development of five scheme roads in the city at ₹ 200 crore has come in from praise from activists, who, however, have questioned the choice of the roads.

Corporation sources said the Chief Minister’s announcement followed a resolution the Council had passed in its last meeting in October – to develop a link road in Ward 56 connecting Fun Mall Road, PSG Road, Anna Nagar, Varadharaja Mill and a few other areas at ₹ 18.59 crore; Puliakulam Main Road – Rajiv Gandhi Nagar Main Road in Ward 65 and 66 at ₹ 45.62 crore, Aishwarya Nagar-Marudhamalai Main Road in Ward 15 at ₹ 19.87 crore, Anna Nagar Extension – Varadharaja Mill Road in Ward 56 at ₹ 55.54 crore and SNR College Road-Avarampalayam Road- Nava India Road in Ward 40 at ₹ 5.18 crore.

The estimated cost of development roads was ₹ 144.80 crore, the Council had said and added that the Corporation had planned to utilise the Infrastructure and Amenities Fund.

While the Chief Minister’s announcement was to be welcomed the choice of roads was not, said District Road Safety Committee member and activist K. Kathirmathiyon. Four of the five roads were off Avinashi Road and confined to a particular geography.

To take up Avinashi Road as a base, more so at a time when an elevated express way was under construction on the road to ease traffic congestion, would not lead to equitable and all round development of the city. The Corporation should review the five roads and include at least one road from each of the five zones. A resident said plotting the five proposed roads on the Assembly constituency map would reveal who had influenced the Council resolution.

Activist S.P. Thiyagarajan said it was disappointing that the Corporation had excluded roads or scheme roads that were high on priority list for development. For instance, the Corporation had omitted inclusion of Sowripalayam Main Road. The Corporation needed only around ₹ 3 crore to widen the narrow road where at present only one bus could pass through at a time. The civic body needed to acquire only 300m or so and the 27 land owners had expressed willingness to part with land for widening the road.

Likewise, the Corporation had failed to include SIHS Colony Road that would have been the ideal alternative road to Kamarajar Road, Singanallur. It had also not considered for development the Nallampalayam Road, an alternative road connecting Mettupalayam Road to Sathyamangalam Road or the Jeeva Nagar Road, linking Mettupalayam Road to Kavundampalayam Road and Thadagam Road.

A former councillor and DMK member said the roads proposed would only lead to lopsided development. There were 120-plus roads proposed for development and they were spread over the entire city.

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