By G Saravanan
Published in The New Indian Express, Chennai, on April 25, 2011:
CHENNAI: The off-season rains in the past few days may have provided relief from the heat to city residents, but it has also hampered the developmental works undertaken by the Chennai Corporation.The showers have put brakes on the road laying works that began in the city a few days ago.The re-laying of bus route roads (BRR) and interior roads was suspended by the Chennai Corporation since March 1 when the model code of conduct came into force.
After polling was over on April 13, the Election Commission gave its green signal to restart the stalled works just a few days ago by relaxing the model code of conduct.
Though the Corporation has completed the re-laying of 138 bus route roads, out of the planned 154 under Rs 60-crore special fund before the model code of conduct came into force in March, the remaining works remained suspended since then.
Having invited flak last year and early this year for having delayed the repair of roads battered by rains, the Corporation machinery was perhaps happy when the EC, after about 50 days, gave its permission to re-start the stalled works.
With the May 31 deadline fast approaching for the civic body to complete its entire road-laying works, the sudden rains have played a spoilsport and now the Corporation officials are perhaps looking up at the rain gods for mercy so that they can get their work over on time.
Due to the recent rain spells, re-laying works that began at several places in the city, including Rajamannar Salai in KK Nagar, Kannan Street in Korukkupet and Thaya Sahib Street in Triplicane, were suspended.
Moreover, the rain spells also caused heavy water logging at the main quarry (source for blue metal), which supplies materials for road re-laying, located at Kundrathur near Tambaram.
Of the 112 interior road works to be completed using special funds, only 36 were completed before the Assembly elections.The rest of the works will have to be finished before May 31, as per the funding conditions.