Under a Project titled “Smart Complete Street Project” the Tamil Nadu Government has planned to make 1,656 kms of roads in various cities across the state, including Chennai, “Smarter” by using funds from foreign agencies like Asian Development Bank (ADB), at an estimated cost of Rs. 20000 crores. Rural and municipal administration Minister, S P Velumani on last Friday said various agencies such as World Bank, KFW and Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) would also be approached for funds and the Centre and State Governments were also likely to pitch in.

Smart complete streets are, street layouts that cater to all user groups, regardless of their age, gender, ability or mode of transport. They are designed with wide and continuous footpaths, safe pedestrian crossings, separate cycle tracks (wherever applicable), bus stops designed to enhance convenience, designated on-street-parking, organised street vending, properly scaled carriageways. They also offer places for relaxation to play and interact. One important component of these streets is the ducting and storm water drains.

Once the project is executed, the life of a road, which is now up to three years, would go up by 30 years, said G. Prakash (IAS), Commissioner of Municipal Administration. He said, “These roads would reduce accidents, traffic jams, ensure safe school junctions and greener spaces”. He also said, “under the Smart City Project around Rs. 2500 crores worth smart roads were in pipeline with a length of 500km. This project will boost the infrastructure of areas that do not come under the area-based development of Smart City Project”.

The project was proposed in April this year. The Government has already begun the process by organising workshops in major cities such as Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruchirappalli. During which discussions on various street designs were held with participants including Corporation Engineers, Officials from TNEB, BSNL, highways and traffic police.

In Chennai, 45km of road length may be taken up under the project but the areas will be finalised only after the Smart City project is finished. “At present, 25km of roads have been taken up under Smart City Project in T. Nagar, of which, funds and designs for 19km has been sanctioned”, said M. Govinda Rao, Deputy Commissioner, Works, Greater Chennai Corporation. The cost of setting up 1km of smart road is between Rs. 2 crores and Rs. 10 crores, based on the amenities provided.

The projects, once funded, will kick start in 2019 as detailed project reports are being prepared by consultants. Construction work will begin in 2020 and it is expected to be completed by 2023. Lets’ hope that our SINGARA CHENNAI gets SMART ROADS by the supposed deadline.