Monday, June 23, 2008

The Perils of ECR Chennai

The East Coast Road!

It is advertised as a route with scenic splendour. It can take you from Chennai to Pondicherry in no time. It can also take you from road to heaven (or hell or wherever) in no time too.

Especially during the nights. The markers are showing their age. It is obvious that whoever is maintaining them are not too worried about a few counts lesser in the population. The government can afford a few thousands to the family of the deceased, with the chance to be in the news offering condolences to the bereaved families.

The road is dotted with invisible road blocks that are veritable death traps during the night.

These are the problems I saw during my recent travel on the ECR.
  • Reflective road paint are covered with sand and dust at most places, making the road borders invisible
  • No advance notification of road blocks ahead, which might take you by surprise/shock, leading to instant heaven or hell or whatever, according to your religious inclination. In some cases, the road blocks are setup at curves (Imagine the intelligence and road sense of whoever did it). And these road blocks do not carry reflective paint or stickers on them. These road blocks are also completely opaque, which means, you do not see the vehicles coming in the opposite direction, even during the day (unless yours is a bigger vehicle).
  • Deteriorating road quality, unsatisfactory maintenance
  • Reflective road markers that do not reflect, leading to insufficient visibility

If you still want to drive, do not exceed the speed of 80 kilometres per hour. It might take a little longer, but it will take you where you want to go.
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