The Tamil Nadu Highways Department is presently widening a small but crucial portion of Poonamallee High Road near Aminjikarai. The 300-metre stretch is a major bottleneck as the road, which is broad in most places, suddenly narrows down in this part to a single-lane facility. Residents and shopkeepers in the locality said traffic was sluggish on this stretch during rush hour.
Most of the land in that area is classified as grama natham poromboke. The small shops that lined the right side of the road were all encroachments. Around 80 per cent of them have been demolished. Owners of some of the others have gone to court, and officials concerned are getting clarifications on others, an official of the highways department said.
Once the demolition is complete, the width of the road will increase from 10 metre to 16 metre. The median will then be shifted, and additional space created to allow free flow of traffic, which is crucial for the arterial road, as its traffic load is heavy most of the day. A resident said that though traffic flow near the Ampa Skywalk mall was smooth because the bridge across the Cooum River had been widened, vehicular movement was curbed on either side because of the narrowing of the road.
The Aminjikarai junction is a crucial link to areas including Shenoy Nagar and Gill Nagar and Aminjikarai market and is crowded all the time. The 14-km road from Muthuswamy Bridge near MMC to the Maduravoyal Bye-pass junction is six metres wide in most stretches, except for the stretch between Koyambedu and Anna Nagar Arch, which has only four lanes. The two stretches near Ripon Building and Anna Nagar Arch will be widened, an official concerned said.