Work on 41 pavements to begin soon; new ones will be 2.5 metres wide

Wide, easy-to-access footpaths for Chennai may now be more than just a long-pending promise.

All bus routes in the city will get redesigned footpaths before the Lok Sabha elections this year.

The Chennai Corporation on Tuesday rushed to float short-term tenders to complete work on 41 footpaths of bus routes in the city. Work on the redesigned footpaths on 55 roads is under way.

A decision to redesign footpaths before Lok Sabha elections was taken at a meeting of Chennai Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority’s (CUMTA) sub-committee for non-motorised transport at Ripon Buildings on Tuesday.

“Short term tenders for redesigned footpaths of the remaining roads will be floated in two days. Work order will be issued before elections,” said an official of the Corporation.

Many of the existing footpaths on the bus routes are inaccessible for persons with temporary or permanent disability, and senior citizens. Most of the new footpaths will be 2.5 metres wide.

The redesign of the footpaths will be based on a topographic survey of bus routes completed recently.

“Encroachments on footpaths of bus routes will be removed. The encroachment removal drive on footpaths will be taken up by all 15 zonal officials every week,” said a civic official.

Work on footpaths in the first phase was proposed to be completed on 71 bus route roads in the eight zones of Tondiarpet, Royapuram, Thiru-Vi-Ka Nagar, Anna Nagar, Teynampet, Kodambakkam, Alandur and Adyar.

The number was restricted to 55 owing to other civic infrastructure development works. Most of the new footpaths in the first phase are two-metre wide.

The major roads being covered in the first phase include Pantheon Road, Police Commissioner Office Road and Gandhi Irwin Road.

The Corporation has remitted Rs.47.22 crore for shifting of electricity cables and junction boxes from 36 roads. But the shifting of such structures has been delayed.

The city has 471 roads covering 387 km of bus routes.

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