Padur is an important area strategically located 2km from one of the country’s largest IT parks in Siruseri. Due to the presence of IT parks, multiple deemed university campuses, colleges and schools, the population in the area is dense and growing. Yet, scant attention has been paid to the infrastructure in the area. As a result, the bad roads of Padur are a menace that residents have been forced to live with.
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Unmotorable roads of Padur
On December 1st, a major accident occurred in the area when a government bus collided with a truck, leaving two people dead and 15 others injured. The accident happened due to the unmotorable conditions of that stretch of the road. This is not an isolated instance.
For the past five months, the local administration responsible for managing the roads has been neglectful. Almost half of the interior roads have been left in terrible condition after the recent spells of rain.
A road leading to Isha Lake in Padur has been dug like a channel to drain water and left as it is for more than a month. Anyone not paying attention and navigating carefully is bound to encounter an accident here.
Another road leading to a residential complex and a leading international school in the locality has been laid with gravel and left without the necessary bitumen layer.
The local body representatives are indifferent to the plight of the residents here. They have a long, varied list of reasons for such road conditions — ranging from unavailability of materials to intense rains that made it impossible to carry out any work. But these issues have persisted for months. This attitude puts young children in the locality in constant danger on a daily basis.
Same is the state of Padur Main Road which connects Old Madras Road (OMR) to the Padur Panchayat office. This is a link road which connects more than 5000 households from Padur and a few important localities to OMR.
The poor state of roads and traffic management near the Chettinad Multi-Speciality hospital is a major threat to two-wheelers and a major roadblock to emergency vehicles like ambulances. The road that connects six residential complexes, and three international schools from OMR, has been left in the worst of conditions for several months.
After multiple complaints to the local body carried out patchwork using waste debris and soil to fill deep potholes. This act made the situation worse as there was no tar or cement mix used.
Residents have also complained of improper barricading of the six-lane road that has led to accidents.
Poor administration to blame for the state of Padur roads
Despite being a stone’s throw away from the administrative boundaries of the Greater Chennai Corporation, Padur continues to remain a Panchayat.
There is very little transparency in the administration, with politicking at every level holding back the development of this key locality.
Residents have demanded a local fund audit to find where their tax money is being spent and why they have been deprived of basic amenities.
Some of the residents have claimed that since they did not vote for the current President of the Panchayat, he has declared that he will not work for them. This is as anti-democratic a stance as any.
Local social workers have given a written complaint to the District Collector with the following demands.
1. An audit of the funds allocated for road laying must be carried out to find the misappropriation of funds and identify why basic amenities are still unavailable to the residents of Padur.
2. The accounts that need to be updated in the Gram Swaraj portal have not been done so for a year and must be fixed by the officials concerned.
3. The last Gram Sabha meeting was conducted secretively with 10 participants who are on the payroll of the panchayat on a contract basis. This is a violation of the constitutional rights of the residents of Padur. Officials must identify the culprits behind this act and put an end to maladministration of the area.
An important locality such as Padur is being poorly administered leading to an adverse effect on the daily life of the residents, college-goers and patients visiting two major hospitals. The officials responsible need to put an end to the lethargic and irresponsible execution of projects on the ground and provide usable roads in the area on priority.
Until then, accidents will continue to take place in the locality as residents and visitors are put in harm’s way by a callous administration.