Monday, December 10, 2012
Tamil Nadu has about 61,500km of roads running across the state. Of them, roughly 9,200km are designated as state highways. There are not many that were conceptualized as highways and constructed accordingly; most of them are roads that were in existence and were given the title because of their importance.
State Highway 109 was not one of those. There are stretches where SH109 has taken over existing paths, but more than half of it was specifically laid to connect the suburb of Pallikaranai with Thoraipakkam. In doing so, it cuts through the Pallikaranai Marsh, which has now been designated a reserve forest.
Getting on to this stretch of SH109 early in the day, one is bound to spot many of Chennai's bird watchers. On both sides of the road, there are literally thousands of birds to be seen and that brings both amateur and professional ornithologists in sizeable flocks. But this place also attracts folks with a different passion: a fairly smooth and straight road, with minimal traffic, is the ideal stretch for the power vehicles to vroom away. In a 20 minute span, we saw a couple of Audis, a Porsche and a Harley open up their valves and fly away!