Steel beams jut out of roof in Nelson Manickam subway
Eight years after it was renovated, the Nelson Manickam subway, which connects Choolaimedu and Nungambakkam, seems to be in dire need of another renovation. Steel beams in many parts of the subway, including the roof and side walls, are jutting out.
Every day, hundreds of motorists from areas like Anna Nagar, Aminjikari, Kilpauk, Arumbakkam, NSK Nagar, Tirumangalam, Kolathur, Korattur, Ambattur, Avadi, Villivakkam, ICF, Ayanavaram, Padi and Retteri use the subway to reach the main parts of the city, which include Nungambakkam, Chetpet, Anna Salai, T. Nagar, Teynampet and Mylapore.
Significantly, unlike other linking roads and facilities such as the Harrington subway and Chetpet bridge, Nelson Manickam Roadand its subway continued to have a tw0-way traffic arrangement, despite Metro Rail work being carried out in the region.
Every day, on an average, more than 80,000 motorists use the subway.
“Following the inauguration of the bridge at Anna Arch, access to the Nelson Manickam Road from Anna Nagar has become easier. On the flip side, the massive movement of vehicles on the subway has begun to tell on it, with its side walls getting broken and its beams jutting out,” says S. Kumar, a motorist from Anna Nagar. The subway was opened on February 15 in 1984, and it replaced the railway level crossing between Nungambakkam and Chetpet railway stations. After many years, the subway was renovated by the Greater Chennai Corporation at a cost of Rs. 32.42 lakh in 2009 with Italian mosaic glazed tiles on its side walls.The beautification of the subway then included pasting of murals of ‘karagattam’ artistes on the glazed tiles. Nelson Manickam subway is one of the first facilities of its kind to receive glazed tiles, which help arrest water seepage.Over the years, poor maintenance of the subway has led to cracks being formed on its side walls and the roof over which goes the main track goes, and also on the pedestrian walkway near to the track-roof. The Italian mosaic glazed tiles too are damaged at many spots exposing the facility for seepage. Corporation officials say that the renovation of the subway including plastering damaged portions with cement concrete is needed. They however state that the track portion of the subway comes under the maintenance of the Southern Railway, which alone is authorised to undertake repair works between tracks. A joint meeting between the railways and the civic body has to be organised for complete renovation of the facility.