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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Traffic diversion at Anna Salai (Chennai Metro Rail Project)

For the cinema crazy Chennaites,  cinema was the referral theme for most things.  The arterial Anna Salai (Mount Road) had so many theatres – bus stops came to be known by the nearby theatres.  In one stretch, there were the famous Shanti, Devi Complex, Wellington, Alankar, Anand, Saffire and more – not to speak of Chitra, Casino, Odeon etc., situated nearby. 

For those of us living in Chennai and travelling in the arterial Mount Road (Anna Salai) – life is going to change…..    the City is already bursting at seams due to ever growing traffic – there are assortment of vehicles – transport corporation buses, share autos, cars, vans, the ubiquitous 3 wheeled autos, two wheelers and more… fortunately you don’t encounter horse-drawn  or bullock drawn vehicles.  Traffic  snarls are too common as vehicles try to by-pass another. You either feel like keeping out of the City or pray the need for better roads and many parallels roads.

To cope up with the rapidly growing population and traffic volumes, the new rail based rapid transport system has been conceived as a viable alternative.  It is the Chennai Metro Rail Project.  This  is a project aimed  at providing the people of Chennai with a fast, reliable, convenient, efficient, modern and economical mode of public transport, which is properly integrated with other forms of public and private transport including buses, sub-urban trains and MRTS.

It is to be constructed in phases.  The Phase I of the project consisting of two corridors covering a length of 45.1 km is under construction. The elevated section of the project is scheduled to be operational by 2013 and the entire project is scheduled to be completed by the financial year 2014-2015. About 55% of the corridors in Phase I is underground and the remaining is elevated.  Corridor 1 is intended to cover the Anna Salai stretch and corridor 2 is intended to cover Poonamalle High Road and Inner ring road.

One would be thrilled to think of travelling below the ground and there would be 12 Underground stations proposed to be at :  Sathiyamoorthy Nagar,Tiruvottiyur, Washermanpet, Mannadi, High Court, Chennai Central, Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, LIC, Thousand Lights, Gemini, Teynampet, and Saidapet.  The physical works are already in progress as could be seen and experienced by many of us whilst travelling.

Now those of you living / working nearer Anna Salai are going to feel it more ! – the area from Wellington to Anand to be precise (both theatres are non-existent now !!)

To accommodate construction work for the Chennai Metro Rail project, Traffic Police have made changes which are to come into effect from March 3, 2012 (Saturday).  The majorly affected stretch would be the one from LIC building till Thousand Lights area – which is to become ‘One way’.

According to an official press release, the stretch on Anna Salai from Thiru.Vi.Ka Road junction up to Wellington junction will be made one-way with entry from Whites Road junction towards the LIC.  The existing one-way on General Patters Road will be reversed and vehicles allowed from Wellington Road junction towards Royapettah tower clock.  Whites Road will be made one-way with entry from Royapettah tower clock.   Road will be made one-way with entry from Spencer's Plaza junction. The stretch of Smith Road will be made one-way with entry from Whites Road junction.
 Map courtesy :The New  Indian Express Chennai Edition

Motorists coming from the Anna statue and proceeding towards Gemini Flyover or Teynampet will be diverted at Wellington junction towards G.P. Road via Whites Road and reach Anna Salai.  Motorists coming from the Anna statue and proceeding towards Binny Road will be diverted at Wellington junction to take route via. G.P. Road -Whites Road-Smith Road-Anna Salai to reach Binny Road.

Motorists coming from Bharathi Salai (Zam Bazaar) intending to go towards Anna Salai should take route via Whites Road and Smith Road to reach Anna Salai. Vehicles coming from Government Royapettah Hospital (Westcott Road) and intending to go towards Anna Salai must take the left and take the route via Whites RoadSmith Road to reach Anna Salai.  Motorists coming from Binny Road intending to go towards Sathyam theatre or Teynampet should take the route via Pattullos Road -Whites Road – Anna Salai to reach Teynampet.

Motorists coming from Binny Road and intending to go towards Royapettah clock tower, Bharathi Salai and Royapettah High Road should take the route via Woods Road - Tower Clock.  Motorists coming from Greams Road intending to go towards Gemini Flyover should take the route via Thiru-vi-ka Salai – Whites Road, the release said.

Those travelling from Anna Flyover (Gemini) towards Santhi / The Hindu / Anna Statue will not be affected and would perhaps feel easier flow as that stretch from near Thousand Lights – TVS – Spencers – LIC – Dhun Building would be One way with no vehicles coming on the opposite side.

Bus stops would be shifted accordingly, which sure is going to create a lot of commotion in the early days, till the dust settles down.  As understood, the one in front of LIC hitherto, would be shifted to GP Road and the bus stop at TVS (now for commuters going towards Gemini / Teynampet) would get shifted to Whites Road

(For those outside Chennai, our Sundaram Towers and Deshabandhu Plaza are situtated in Whites Road) – Whites Road would soon see greater traffic flowing.  One only prays that this arrangement does not paralyse the way we commute to Office……………..

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.


  1. Good one neatly depicting Sir - Lakshman

  2. O My God, how is the narrow Whites Road going to handle the traffic that once flowed in Mount road - Guru

  3. thanks for the clarity Sir - could be chaos out there - Malliga

  4. Interesting - just at the time when people were getting settled to turn at United India or at Anand for going to Sathyam and EA, comes another change... how much of chaotic would be to see buses running on Smith road.... Gokul

  5. possibly we may get metro soon :)

  6. very clear and lucid explanation brother well done - Santhi

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