Nungambakkam High Road
|Constructed:||1973 by East Coast Construction and Industries|
|4.3 metres (14 ft)|
|20 metres (66 ft)|
Anna Flyover, also known as Gemini Flyover, is a dual-armed flyover in the central business district of Chennai, India. Built in 1973 and dubbed one of the top-rated flyovers in the country, it is the first flyover in Chennai and the third in India, after the ones at Kemps Corner and Marine Drive in Mumbai. It was the longest flyover in the country when it was built. Its main purpose is to allow traffic movement on Mount Road—now renamed Anna Salai—near Nungambakkam High Road (Uthamar Gandhi Salai) to continue unhindered by the cross traffic. The presence of the Gemini Studios, which was demolished later, resulted in the flyover coming to be known as Gemini Flyover and the area being referred to as the Gemini Circle.
On two sides of the circle roundabout below the centre of the flyover are two identical statues of a man controlling a horse placed there to commemorate the banning of horse racing.
Anna Flyover has been beautified with other elements such as water fountains, landscaping of its 24,000 square feet (2,200 m2) traffic islands, cove lighting under the traffic movement area, restoration of the horse statue, a toilet for the police personnel, murals depicting social messages, and so forth.
History and design
Anna flyover was constructed in 1973 by East Coast Construction and Industries in 21 months at a cost of 6.6 million and was opened to traffic on 1 July 1973. The architects of the flyover had made provision for its extension, if necessary, on either side. Not much has changed since its design in the 1970s, which was said to have been approved by a committee comprising senior officials and experts. The original lighting has been changed though. The flyover is 500 m long.
Before climbing Anna Flyover (when heading in the direction towards the airport) to the left are the Oxford University Press and the U.S. Consulate, and to the right one can find the remains of the old Safire Theatre complex.
Gemini studio has been demolished and a shopping complex called Parson Manor and a 5-star deluxe hotel called The Park have been built in its place. Opposite to these across the flyover lies the Semmozhi Poonga, the 20-acre, 80-million botanical garden constructed by the horticultural department.
In the 1970s, over 9,000 vehicles crossed the junction during peak hour. By the 2010s, the stretch between Parry's Corner and Nandanam was used by over 16,000 vehicles during rush hour. Anna Salai is used by over 0.183 million vehicles every day.
An average of 20,000 vehicles per hour pass through the intersection beneath the flyover.
The government had plans to lease out the area under the flyover to a restaurant, a shopping centre, godowns and a parking lot, and for advertising.
A preliminary study by Chennai City Connect, an NGO working on improving traffic and transport conditions in Chennai, found that the Gemini Circle intersection costs the city 270,000 a day in petrol, human capital and ecological loss. There are plans to build a flyover on top of the existing flyover. A short-term plan at a cost of 9 million has also been planned.
Anna Flyover is now maintained by Aircel Cellular as a part of corporate social responsibility, which has implemented LED lighting accentuating the parapets of the flyover. LED lighting to beautify a public structure has been implemented for the first time in India by city-based Abra Media Networks; TNRIDC, a division of Highways, has awarded the contract to Aircel starting from July 2010.
Accidents and incidents
In January 1998, a small bomb was detonated under the flyover near the American consulate building.
- "History of Chennai". ChennaiBest.com. Retrieved 16 Jan 2012.
- Sreevatsan, Ajai (19 July 2010). "Junction beneath flyover set for change". The Hindu (Chennai). Retrieved 15 January 2012.
- Ramakrishnan, Deepa H. (1 July 2012). "Flyover wall mended after 3 days". The Hindu (Chennai: The Hindu). Retrieved 5 Jul 2012.
- "புதிய வர்ணம் பூசி அண்ணா மேம்பாலம் அழகுபடுத்தப்படுகிறது: நெடுஞ்சாலைத்துறை ஏற்பாடு". Maalaimalar (in Tamil) (Chennai). 21 August 2013. Retrieved 13 Sep 2013.
- Robinson, Daniel (17 May 2010). "Ever realise this about Anna Flyover?". Chennai City Connect. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
- Hemalatha, Karthikeyan (7 September 2011). "Gemini Junction may be redesigned to redirect traffic". The Times of India (Chennai). Retrieved 15 January 2012.
- Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) (5 April 2012). "India 2012 OSAC Crime and Safety Report: Chennai". U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Retrieved 31 Jul 2012.
- "Over 30 injured as bus falls off flyover in Chennai". The Times Of India. 27 June 2012. Retrieved 27 Jun 2012.
- "Driver of bus that fell off Anna flyover dismissed by MTC". The Times of India (Chennai: The Times Group). 25 October 2012. Retrieved 25 Oct 2012.