Ambattur has witnessed two Assembly elections after it was made into a separate constituency. It is now part of the Greater Chennai Corporation. But some core issues remain to be resolved since the time it was a municipality.
Dotted with several industrial units and one of the largest industrial estates in the city, Ambattur is home largely to workers and middle-class residents. While the landscape has now accommodated more shopping hubs and apartment complexes, what remains unchanged is the traffic congestion on the arterial roads.
Residents note that some of the long-pending projects, such as the Korattur subway and the underground drainage network, have been implemented. But the widening of the Chennai-Tiruvallur High Road between Padi and Thiruninravur remains an unfulfilled election promise. For nearly two decades, residents have been waiting for the project to take off.
Risk of accidents
S. Suresh, general secretary of the United Welfare Associations of Ambattur, says that only medians have been constructed on the congested Chennai-Tiruvallur High Road, which continues to be an accident-prone stretch. Many elected representatives have promised to take measures to widen the road over-bridge near TI Cycles. But the promise has remained on paper for several years.
“We have also been demanding that the bus terminus be shifted from Ambattur OT to Pudur or Oragadam because of the congestion and risk of accidents. Ambattur still lacks a government college and a government higher secondary school for boys. Also, the work to convert all overhead cables into underground cables must be accelerated,” he says.
The major waterbodies in Ambattur and Korattur were taken up for eco-restoration. The Ambattur lake has been spruced up with many facilities, including a walkers’ path and a park. But residents say the restoration will be complete only when sewage outfalls are plugged.
T. Gunaseelan, a resident, says, “Connectivity of the stormwater drain network still needs to be done and open channels that carry sewage have to be closed. We also need a Metro Rail link between Ambattur and the airport as there is no direct transport facility. All the offices related to the Revenue Department must be brought under one roof.”
Erratic water supply
Opening of the Korattur subway and efforts to mitigate inundation have gained appreciation from Korattur residents.
J. Gopalakrishnan, president, Federation of Residents Welfare Association, Korattur, says, “We still grapple with erratic water supply. Two overhead tanks built eight years ago on 61st and 36th Streets are yet to be put to use. Areas in Korattur South get water once in three days from the old overhead tank. The dug-up portion of the East Avenue that links Padi is being used for vehicle parking as it has been waiting for black-topping for two years.”
Localities in Anna Nagar Western Extension have escaped water-logging owing to a better stormwater drain network and more parks developed on open space reserve lands, residents say.
V. Rajagopal, president of Anna Nagar Western Extension Residents’ Welfare Association, says many residents use gyms opened at parks. “We need more small buses connecting to Perambur, Koyambedu and K.K. Nagar. Footover bridges are much needed at the busy Ambattur Industrial Estate Main Road. A multi-level car parking lot could be planned along the arterial road that is becoming a shopping hub,” he says.
Listing the infrastructure projects taken up during his term, Ambattur MLA V. Alexander says measures are afoot to kick-start the Chennai-Tiruvallur High Road widening project, and a survey is in progress.
“Most parts of the constituency have been covered by the underground drainage network, except for parts of Wards 82 and 83. The area has more parks, and many waterbodies have been improved at a cost of ₹70 crore. The constituency now has a 100-bed government hospital at Mannurpet,” he says.
Work is under way to convert overhead power lines into underground cables, and tenders have been called for building a storm-water drain network at a cost of ₹550 crore, Mr. Alexander says.