Commuters are wary of this preferred short cut in Perambur after a dozen robberies last month

The name may give you a sense of security but increasingly, motorists are avoiding the Constable Road like the plague.

Of late, the three-km stretch in Perambur has earned notoriety for chain snatching and other petty thefts. At least a dozen people have lost their valuables, mostly gold jewellery, while travelling on this stretch, in the past one month.

The road, with trees and shrubs on both sides, is preferred by many motorists, especially office-goers, as it reduces travel to Aynavaram and Ambattur by nearly two kilometres.

The alternative is the congested Konnar High Road that connects Aynavaram with Avadi via Lucas. Encroachments on Konnar High Road lead to traffic jams during peak hours on most days.

Constable Road runs parallel to this stretch and is relatively less crowded.

It is also patronised by thousands of train commuters as four railway stations — Villivakkam, Perambur Loco Works, Perambur Carriage Works and Perambur — are located along the road. Also, there are nearly 300 railway quarters in the vicinity.

In recent times, the bitumen-topped stretch maintained by Southern Railway has turned into a hub for chain snatchers as the poorly-illuminated road coupled with its dense foliage makes for easy escape.

“A week ago, a woman was robbed of her gold chain by two persons on a bike. She raised an alarm but before passers-by could react, the miscreants fled the scene in the cover of darkness,” said Gnana Sigamani, member of Dakshina Railway Employees Union (Perambur).

The stretch houses several government establishments including the Integral Coach Factory, Perambur railway government hospital and the railway quarters, and also, a police station of the Railway Protection Force (RPF).

But there is hardly any police patrolling on the stretch save for the lone RPF check post near ICF premises.

“After sunset, most motorists tend to avoid the stretch. Pedestrians too, have stopped using the road,” said David, a Perambur resident.

Following several complaints, the RPF has increased surveillance on the stretch but poor lighting makes their job difficult, an officer said. Also, shortage of manpower restricts them for undertaking round-the-clock patrolling.

“But we are trying to devise measures to ensure the safety of motorists and pedestrians on Constable Road,” an RPF officer said.

Keywords: chain snatching

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