Corporation to construct higher parapets along two more bridges, to prevent suicides

The Chennai Corporation will take up construction of higher parapets along two more bridges in the city to prevent people from committing suicide by jumping.

The Madhya Kailash bridge and the one near TIDEL Park, across the Buckingham Canal, are the facilities that have been chosen.

A concrete wall will come up on either side, and above this, vertical steel bars will be installed.  Horizontal bars will not be used to rule out the possibility of people climbing on them, an official said. As the bridge is used by hundreds of pedestrians, the footpaths, too, will be improved as part of the works.

Sources in the Corporation said the works have been awarded to contractors and the construction cost was around Rs. 22 lakh. “The works will be taken up soon. We are also asking the contractor working on the Kotturpuram bridge to speed up the work,” said an official source in the civic body.

The Corporation took steps to construct higher parapets on either side of the Kotturpuram bridge following a request from suicide prevention helpline Sneha, which identified the bridge across the Adyar river as a hotspot for suicides.

The Rs. 1.25-crore work began in March this year and the contractor has six months’ time to complete the construction, sources said.

Sneha founder Lakshmi Vijayakumar said persons with suicidal tendencies get fixated on one method and, invariably, repeatedly attempt the same. If there is a hotspot, then there is a chance of a large number of people using that, she added.