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Drive down the OMR

Last Sunday out of nowhere, we decided to go for a drive on the Old Mahabalipuram Road to have a glimpse of the latest developments on that road. We started little late in the evening around 5.00 PM and by the time we reached Madhya Kailash, it was already 5.30 PM. Luckily, due to the summer, the natural light was on and we decided to drive down the road.

We were of the opinion that the road would be bad but to our surprise we found that the 6 lane road is almost complete for the entire stretch of 30 kms from Madhya Kailash. There were patch works and median work pending in few areas but overall the road has been laid and it made the drive hassle-free. I was surprised to see the large scale developments happening on the road through the entire stretch of 30 kms. I remembered some author writing about China. Their national bird is the huge cranes used for building construction. You find it everywhere on OMR too.

After driving for more than 30 kms on the OMR we decided to turn back and then we saw the board of "Chennai Pattinam", a housing project promoted by CEEDEEYES. Since our intention was not for visiting any particular real estate projects, we deliberated for few minutes whether to go and see Chennai Pattinam or drive back. Having come all the way, we decided to visit the site to get first hand information. Chennai Pattinam is a good 6.5 kms from OMR. The road is a narrow 20 feet road winding through vacant lands but the good thing is it is a metal road. There were road signs put for Chennai Pattinam so we didnt ask anybody for directions.

Chennai Pattinam, is a residential project coming up on 55 acres of land near Tiruporur on the OMR. Actually the site is on the foot of a small hill so when completed it would be a pleasant site to watch the verdant hills. There is no development close to Chennai Pattinam site except for a reasonably big Shiva temple within 500 metres of the site. At the time we went, there were no project guys in site and we could not expect it as well. We were at the site at 6.30 PM on a sunday evening and reached unannounced. The construction work has started on the site and we could see pillars being raised.

CEEDEEYESS is offering Chennai Pattinam at Rs2075 per sq.ft all inclusive. They have already raised the prices by Rs100/- per sq. ft since the time they launched couple of months ago. Price wise it is one of the cheapest projects which is getting advertised. Since it is a good 7 kms from OMR and 13 kms away from GST road, CEEDEEYES is planning to offer shuttle services to OMR and GST, of course, at a charge.

We started back and reached Ascendas IT park where we planned to go for the dinner. Since Mcdonalds have opened their outlet in the food court, we went there to find a huge crowd. Honestly, I didnt expect that crowd on a sunday evening. Mac is a big hit in Chennai and we saw a queue of around 50 people to order food at Mac. When we turned around we saw a similar number waiting to order at KFC. We patiently waited for 10 minutes to order our food and I have to admit the systems at Mac are very efficient and we got our veg. burgers, potato widges and french fries in less than 5 minutes.


Gopal V said...

Ok so at last you have made the trip down the OMR.

Yeah they have almost completed the stretch till siruseri though major portions of the work happened in the last couple of months. They are also working on a feverish pace to complete the linking road (renamed to kalaingar karunanidhi salai !!) between ECR and OMR (4 lane highway)

Though quality has suffered in this bid to complete the work in couple of months, but sure OMR will make any chennaite proud no doubt.

So what do you think of all these IT parks and mega residential projects coming up ? Over supply ?

But whatever happens OMR has changed completly (for good i believe)

Hope it does not transform into a separate exclusive world where upper middle class IT guys live, work and crib about outside world (inclusive growth ??)

Prasanna said...

The drive along the OMR was an eye opener. I had been there about 18 months back and there have a lot of changes since then.

Definite over supply in office space there - Most of the major IT firms will build their own facilities. How will they fill up all these IT parks?

There seem to be a lot of laborers from North India who are working there.

The residential parks will be good.
However good the roads are, you will still be outside Chennai !!.

you will find a mix of people there (more people from outside Tamil Nadu). Already I find colleagues who are willing to take up flats along OMR as they get more amenities and people from their state.


Venkat Muthukrishnan said...

Hi Gopal,
Yes, finally I made it.. really OMR has transformed itself and looks like a altogether different place.
Definitely there is a over-supply of IT/ITES Office space. As per the last estimate, the excess IT space in OMR is around 3.7 million sq.ft. Quite huge!!
I dont think it would become an exclusive area of rich and famous. In India, you will need housemaids, small shops, and others which will ensure that there is a good mix of all classes.

Venkatesvaran Pandiyan said...

Venky, You probably had a good drive in OMR because it was Sunday evening. It is not all that pleasure when you drive down on weekdays. I drive daily between 8.30 and 9.15AM in OMR. Most of the times, the traffic will be slow. I do agree that the road is very good between Madya Kailash and TIDEL park / Vellacherry Road. But OMR as a whole is still not good enough to accommodate the number of vehicles that pass through OMR. One more problem is, howsoever roads are developed, driving will still be a pain since not many has road discipline.

Venkat Muthukrishnan said...

Hi Venky,
The road sense is very poor and the apathy of the drivers for fellow drivers is ridiculous. Particularly the Government long distance and city buses care a damn for other road users, let it be stopping at the middle of the road or overtaking on the left or pushing the car to hit the central median.
Yes, driving on OMR on a working day may not be a pleasure. I agree.

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