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Monday, July 29, 2019

vehicles to ply back on two sides of arterial Mount Road !!

Do you still travel in Chennai city transport bus ? [do you know or remember that it was Pallavan Transport Corporation (PTC) earlier ?] Today in Besant Road Triplicane, saw a new mini bus – M30 – one of the 14 routes recently started by MTC providing last-mile connectivity for passengers from the system that seeks to change the way Chennaites travel within the city.  This starts from LIC Metro station, via Express Avenue, Royapettah Hospital comes to Vivekananda House Terminus.

the train has for sure changed the Chennai traffic map – but its journey has caused few struggles !  .. .. … to  accommodate construction work for the Chennai Metro Rail project, Traffic Police made changes that came  into effect from March 3, 2012 (Saturday).  The majorly affected stretch was to be the one  from LIC building till Thousand Lights area –  that became  ‘One way’.

The Govt official press release, made  the stretch on Anna Salai from Thiru.Vi.Ka Road junction up to Wellington junction one-way with entry from Whites Road junction towards the LIC.  Vehicles plying on Mountroad had to take left turn after Devi talkies move towards  General Patters Road   from Wellington Road junction towards Royapettah tower clock.  Whites Road too became  one-way with entry from Royapettah tower clock.   For entering Spencer's Plaza junction, vehicles had to pass through the stretch of Smith Road, a small bylane, which many wondered whether can have buses plying !  

Chennai has few good stretches of roads… may be because Madras was not a planned city.  The  arterial Mount Road (Anna Salai) takes most of the traffic and there are no parallel roads.   The city has choked many a times whenever political agitation or a show of strength by any leader  left the city paralysed.  The balance is so thin that some diversion occurring somewhere, would adversely affect people elsewhere and one can see huge crowds waiting for the buses and vehicles piling up unable to move.
With Metro rail, something impossible happened – traffic in the main artillery road – Mount Road aka Anna Salai was regularized.  Many eye-brows were raised when this one-way announcement came effective 1st  March 2012.  Subsequently more parts of the Mount Road became one way… there were many other parts of Chennai too which took the brunt.
traffic changes of 2012

 The motorists have taken all the burden ~ the roadmap kept  changing as the underground work progresses – away in Saidapet and longer in elevated corridor, people have seen the work going on overhead – even when the 2nd phase became operational, motor vehicle users were still in a daze.  At some point of time,  the oncoming vehicles from Saidapet towards Parrys had to go on a major de-tour.  Vehicles coming from Nandanam had to take  left travel via South /  North Boag Road, come through GN Chetty Road to reach Mount Road. 

All that is set to change and Chennai could breathe more easy.  Seven years after being converted into a oneway stretch for building the underground line of Chennai metro rail, the LIC-Thousand Lights stretch of Anna Salai will see a trial run of two-way traffic on August 2.

“Traffic changes made due to metro work will be restored permanently from August 3,” said a metro rail official. The decision was taken after a meeting with traffic police officials early last week. Once the stretch becomes two-way, motorists may no longer have to take the circuitous routes.  Traffic changes made on several roads including General Patters Road, Whites Road, Woods Road and Pattulas Road will be restored to their original pattern.

While the launch completed the 45km stretch of phase-1 of metro rail work, both LIC and Thousand Lights stations were opened with only two entry-exits points on either side and the work to build two more entry points for both the stations continued.  The two stations, which were holding back the rest of the stretch from being opened for the public before the inauguration in February, were also part of the stretch where work was stalled for nearly a year after a Russian contractor abandoned work due to financial crisis.

The North Boag Road connecting Residency Towers and G N Chetty Road was made two-way on Friday. Police personnel kept a signboard on Theyagaraya Road and G N Chetty Road, and at the Vijaya Ragava Road intersection on North Boag Road.  Mount Road was renamed Anna Salai – yet to most the easy reference continues to be ‘Mount road’.  The arterial road is believed to have been built more than a couple of hundred years back, used by British garrisons at Fort St. George (in North Chennai) to visit Mount (South Chennai)

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
29th July 2019.

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