Ambulance drivers avoid the pathway. Only a few autorickshaw drivers are willing to negotiate it
Slow progress in the construction of more than a dozen manholes along Karuneegar Street, off Poonamallee High Road in Nerkundram, by Chennai Metrowater is putting COVID-19 patients and their caregivers to considerable hardship.
Vehicles, particularly ambulances, cannot negotiate the narrow pathway. In progress for many weeks now, the manhole work is only half complete.
A majority of the motorists cannot use the one-kilometre-long stretch, which connects several residential colonies including Kanniamman Nagar, CDN Nagar, Natesan Nagar, Nessammal Nagar, Velu Nagar, Seemathamman Nagar, Anbu Nagar and Koyambedu with PH Road near the Maduravoyal police station.
Karuneegar Street offers the main connectivity to the nearest hospital via PH Road.
The construction of manholes is part of the multi-crore underground drainage work by Chennai Metrowater to extend basic facilities to the extended areas of the Greater Chennai Corporation. Each manhole is around ten feet deep and every two manholes are spaced 30 feet apart.
The nearest Urban Primary Healthcare Centre (UPHC) in Nerkundram is located near the Maduravoyal flyover, a distance of around three kilometres. aruneegar Street is part of the shortest route to the facility.
Residents point out that the alternative route via Nerkundram Main Road, which connects PH Road with Kaliamman Koil Street in Chinmaya Nagar near Virugambakkam, involves a drive of around three kilometres to reach PH Road near the Koyambedu flyover.
Prior to the lockdown, many motorists used PH Road to reach various parts of Chennai and also the outskirts through arterial roads like GST Road, Grand Northern Trunk (GNT) Road and CTH Road.
“Steps will be taken to complete the manhole work soon,” says a Chennai Metrowater official.
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