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Saturday, May 25, 2024

A section of Royapettah High Road now sports a stark look

INDA section of Royapettah High Road now sports a stark look

The stretch after half of the mini-flyover was razed

For long-time residents of the locality, a stretch of Royapettah High Road (near Ajantha bus stop) should now bring a rush of nostalgia, one tinged with a sense of loss.

Recently, work on demolishing one half of the flyover connecting Dr. R.K. Salai and Thiru-Vi-Ka Salai intersection ran its course. The demolition work was initiated in January 2024 for the construction of an underground Metro Rail station for CMRL’s phase II project.

Opened in May 2000, the mini-flyover was among nine projects that came up in Chennai to address the growing congestion on this section resulting from increasing volume of traffic.

According to The Hindu Archives, nine “mini flyovers” were proposed in 1998 to decongest the roads they were meant for. The report says that “land acquisition proceedings” was avoided in these projects.

The significant part of all the projects was that there would be no land acquisition, the flyovers being supported by single columns, says the report.

The other mini-flyovers include the one at Music Academy, Sardar Patel Road-Gandhi Mandapam Junction, Pantheon Road-Montieth Road junction and TTK Road-CP Ramaswamy Road.

As per a report in The Hindu, work on the underground station will take three years, following which CMRL will reconstruct the flyover and throw it open for the public. Another flyover that will also be partly razed is the one at Adyar.


With a part of the flyover razed, the section is now an open-to-sky as it was back in 2000. I remember dining at Hotel Ajantha and Udupi Krishna Hotel (at the turning point towards Dr Radhakrishnan Salai). After the flyover was constructed, for a while, it was not unusual for motorists to hesitate using the flyover due to fear of falling down near the central point when you reach the R. K. Salai junction. The fear faded away.

I also remember seeing residents of Krishnapuram Street and Sripuram Street had a challenging time when construction of the bridge was under way. Nevertheless, this mini-flyover was a boon to the neighbourhood and we enjoyed scuffing our tyres on it.

Baskar Seshadri, Mandaveli

Some memories that I have of the area in and around the mini flyover connecting Royapettah and R.K.Salai is of boats being pressed into service during heavy rains. I do not remember the year but some sections of Royapettah were low-lying and small boats had been brought in for rescue work. The opening of the flyover made a huge difference. We have two of our schools in the area and many of our students and their parents found the commute less of a hassle, thanks to the flyover. Now, we are back to old times. There are too many diversions because of Metro Rail work and we hope the project is completed soon and we also get the flyover back.

Ramesh Lamba, general secretary, Adarsh Group of Schools

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