Non-milled roads irk residents in Kandanchavadi

Sravani Nellore

Chennai, Mar 1: As one enters the Gandhi Street in Kandanchavadi, one cannot miss the striking observation that the slanting roofs of the houses on the right-hand side of the road equals one’s height. The constant re-laying of the road, sometimes twice or thrice a year, without actually milling it, has resulted in the elevation of the road by clearly three inches at certain spots.

As a result, some residents in the older houses here have had to build three-four steps in front of their doors to match the level of the road.

J. Jaikar, a resident in the street, says, “We came here when the place was wanting in development. When my house my built, it was actually three steps higher than the ground level. But now, the ground level has reached till the door. Every time a road is being re-laid, milling has to be done. Laying the road multiple times without milling has resulted in the increase in the width of the roads.

B. Ganesan, who owns a flour mill here, says, “During the rains, our houses and shops remain inundated for days. The last time the road was about to be re-laid, all of us gathered to protest against it, demanding the civic body to first mill it.”

The road’s height has increased by three inches in the Gandhi street. |Sravani Nellore

Responding to the complaints, Kamal Raj, Assistant Engineer at the Corporation office ward 184, said, “There is a new rule now that mandates milling before re-laying the road as against earlier, when it was done only where necessary.” Interestingly, most of the times, the Corporation found it unnecessary to mill the roads because of extra load, manpower and costs involved in it.He further added that once the drainage system work, that is under process, is completed, a new road will be laid in keeping with the rules.

According to Radhakrishnan, the head of Thozhan, an organisation that works on road safety, a road gets a warranty period of two-three years, before which, there shouldn’t be any issue. “Ideally, there shouldn’t even arise the need to re-lay the road in a period of three years. But contractors, who are hired for milling, quote very less than the market price and neglect the work. For instance, if the market price of milling is Rs.80 per square metre, the contractor instead takes just Rs.10 and doesn’t do the work,” he elaborated.

Why is milling necessary?

Although milling takes hardly four hours, most of the roads in the city are not milled. As per government order, 40 mm width of the road has to be milled, for which, a road roller has to make ten rounds across the road. When this is not done before re-laying a road, the height of the road increases. “The roads naturally tend to expand under hot temperatures, and if not milled properly, the height gets doubled up, which then leads to development of cracks, making it accident-prone,” Radhakrishnan explains.

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