The lethal stretch of Medavakkam Main Road

Several accidents have been reported from a section of the Medavakkam Main Road that stretches from St. Thomas Mount station to Medavakkam Koot Road. Last week, an 11-year-old boy riding a cycle died on the spot after being hit by a water lorry.

As per records available with the Chennai Traffic Police, it was one of 47 accidents to have occurred in 2015 on this stretch. Six of them were fatal.

In 2013 and 2014, there were 87 accidents each on this stretch with 15 fatalities recorded in both the years. Residents said most of the fatal accidents were caused by speeding heavy vehicles.

A lack of signals at five major junctions — Vanuvampet Church, Krishna Sweets near Balammal Main Road, the junction opposite Puzhuthivakkam Main Road, the Oil Mill Bus Stop and Madipakkam Koot Road — is said to be the main reason why this stretch is so accident-prone.

Moreover, many of the fatal accidents involved senior citizens.

A considerable part of the 9-km stretch lacks a median, thus encouraging heavy vehicles to overtake others. Commuters say that unless the stretch is widened, laying a median is not possible.

When asked why a median had not been constructed yet, a Highways official said: “In 2008, efforts were taken to widen this road. The land acquisition process, initiated then, continues to this day. Residents have gone to court over it. For instance, from St. Thomas Mount station to Jayalakshmi Theatre [around one km], about 20 court cases have been filed.”

The land acquisition process has been completed at Ullagaram, Puzhuthivakkam, Kovilambakkam, Keelkattalai and Vellakkal, and four-lane conversion has been carried out till Vellakkal. Widening work is being carried out from Madipakkam Padhala Vinayagar Koil to Madipakkam Koot Road, and according to official sources it will be completed in two months.

The 1.5-km stretch from Vellakkal to Medavakkam Koot witnesses extremely rash driving by heavy vehicles. “Widening of this stretch,” the official said, “is subject to clearance by the Nanmangalam Reserve Forest. The Forest Department is yet to give the go-ahead for road-widening. The issue has been referred to the Kancheepuram Collector.”

(source -The Hindu)

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