“This new scheme will prevent the roads from being dug frequently for the next 30 years. This plan will also integrate all modes of transport,” said Minister SP Velumani.

110 km of Chennais roads to get a makeover under new project
news Infrastructure Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 09:02

The Pedestrian Plaza that was inaugurated just a couple of months ago in Chennai is just the first of many new "pedestrian friendly" plans the Greater Chennai Corporation has in store for the city.

On Tuesday, the Chennai Mega Streets Programme was inaugurated by Minister of Municipal Administration, Rural Development and Implementation of Special Projects SP Velumani, in the city. The ambitious project that is proposed to cover 426 sq. km of the city will begin with phase 1 that will cover 70 sq. km of North, South and Central zones of the city. Under phase 1, the "mobility, utility and the livability" of the streets will be improved. Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner G Prakash, Chief Secretary to the government of Tamil Nadu K Shanmugam and Deputy Commissioner (works) P Kumaravel Pandian were present for the inauguration.

In phase 1, a total of 110 kilometres of the arterial and sub-arterial streets in the neighbourhoods of Anna Nagar,  Tondiarpet, Nungambakkam, Mylapore, Velachery and Adyar will be covered. Some of the major roads that will be redeveloped under phase 1 are: Dr Radakrishnan Salai, Cathedral Road, Gandhi Mandapam Road, Sardar Patel Road, LB Road, Thiruvotriyur High road, North terminus Road, New Avadi Road, 2nd & 3rd Avenue road Anna Nagar, Royapettah High Road, Kutchery Road, Greenways Road, CP Ramaswamy Road, Eldams Road, Race Course road, Velachery Main Road and Five Furlong Road.

Speaking at the inaugural function, Minister SP Velumani said, “This new scheme will prevent the roads from being dug frequently for the next 30 years. This plan will also integrate all modes of transport. In the areas that the scheme is proposed to be rolled out, there will be play areas and parks for children, benches for the elderly, shady trees and lights will be made available.”

Corporation Commissioner G Prakash while explaining that he believed in the importance of design, said “Design 99% and execution 1%” and added that six consultants have been brought on board for the 110 kilometres stretch of the project. 

The scope of this project will entail development of cycling and walking trails along canal/river edges, universal accessibility with integrated public transportation modes, road safety and the creation of neighbourhood parking plans.  

The entire project is valued at over Rs 10,000 crore, the arterial roads transformation (phase 1) is estimated at Rs 1,500 crore. According to a release, various development banks including the World Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and Germany based KFW have expressed interest in funding the project.

“This is a non-revenue generating project but I’m proud to say that Chennai Corporation has never defaulted on debts,” said Prakash adding that the state government would allocate 70-75% of the loan as grant to the local bodies, 20% as loan and the remaining 10% would come from GCC’s tax revenues.

Prakash further listed out proposals for on-street parking charges, optic fibre cables and bike sharing policies to generate revenue for the project. “No commissioner will know the exact revenue generated from optic fiber cables but I am sure it can be increased four times at least. Similarly, a new parking policy will enable revenue anywhere between Rs 1000- 1200 crore even if we were to charge a minimal amount ranging between Rs 10 and Rs 30,” he said.

"The new designs would include continuous footpaths, streamlined carriageways, organised on street parking and well-planned underground utilities. The design also integrate bus stops, street vending and all other street furniture, locating them carefully such that they do not hinder the walking experience of pedestrians," reads a press release on the project. 

The inauguration was followed by a day-long session that focussed on interdepartmental cooperation, road safety initiatives, the challenges and opportunities in transforming city highways, technical presentations by engineers and more. The day-long session itself was attended by engineers and officers from several departments including GCC, Police, Traffic police, Chennai Metrowater and Sewage Supply Board (CMWSSB), Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB), BSNL, Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC), Highways, CMDA, Chennai Merto Rail Limited (CMRL), TNRDC, etc.

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