To ensure a seamless commute and enhance the utility of the city’s arterial and major roads, the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has launched the city-wide Mega Streets Project in the city. The project was inaugurated by Tamil Nadu Minister for Municipal Administration, Rural Development and Implementation of Special Programme S P Velumani on Tuesday, and is an extension of the Smart City Mission.
The Mega Streets project proposes to revamp roads spreading across 426 sq km of the city, of which 600 km are streets maintained by the GCC and 286 km includes roads maintained by other departments within the GCC limits. The project aims to do this by developing networks for cycling and walking, increased access to public transport, safe access to public spaces, carriageways, parking, wide footpaths and underground facilities.
Speaking to IndianExpress.com, G Prakash, IAS, the Commissioner of the GCC, said, “The aim of the Mega Streets project is to ensure smooth mobility by giving importance to non-motorised forms of transport such as walking and cycling. It will also help protect the city’s infrastructure.
“The project was conceived to make it easier for departments to carry out their infrastructure work, even if projects are sanctioned at different points in time. For instance, it wouldn’t matter if metrowater pipelines need to be laid down or electricity cables are installed after GCC constructs roads,” he said.
The commissioner said the project, which had been in the pipeline for three years, was finally launched after conduct surveys, research and discussions with experts in the field.
The GCC maintains around 6,200 km of highways and roads across Chennai, out of which 1,000 km are made up of arterial roads. Phase 1 of the project will focus on 110 km of arterial roads in the localities of Anna Nagar, Tondiarpet, Velachery, Nungambakkam, Adyar and Mylapore.
The major roads which will be developed in Phase 1 in these areas are Gandhi Mandapam Road, Sardar Patel Road, Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai (R K Salai), Lattice Bridge Road (LB Road), Cathedral Road, Royapettah High Road, Greenways Road, Kutchery Road, Cathedral Road, Thiruvotriyur High Road, New Avadi Road, Anna Nagar – 2nd, 3rd Avenues; Race Course Road and Velachery Main Road.
“The roads will be redeveloped with ducting, similar to those in the recently inaugurated Pedestrian Plaza in T Nagar. With ducting, the roads need not be cut for any purpose for the next 30 years,” said the commissioner.
Through ducting, departments will be provided with points on the roads which can be opened up to lay down necessary lines without disrupting traffic or opening up the entire stretch of a particular road for the purpose.
Prakash said that ducting of roads has several benefits. Financially, it is a one-time expense with little loss. The roads need to be laid only once after ducting is complete. This is also good for the environment and does not pose as an inconvenience to residents.
While ducting is a relatively old concept in India, Chennai will become the first city in the country to have 110 km of roads with ducting.
The commissioner also said the GCC had finalised design consultants for the project. “The success of the project lies in the design. We have finalised top architects from across the country for the project. The designers have been given a timeframe of nine months, with the initial plan of action for the first 20 km expected within three months. Once the sequence is finalised, we will call for tenders by November or December 2020”, said Prakash.
The commissioner said that Phase 1 of the project will cost approximately Rs. 2,500 crore, which will be funded from agencies such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and German Development Bank among others. The Mega Streets project is managed entirely by the Greater Chennai Corporation.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines