The city will soon join the league of cities that have foot overbridges (FOBs) with escalators. The highways department has issued work orders to construct and install five such facilities across the city.
There are FOBs in Delhi and Hyderabad, and other cities like Thane in Mumbai and Jaipur are also planning to install them. Work for the Rs. 30-crore project funded by World Bank is expected to begin next month.
FOBs will come up near SBOA School on Jawaharlal Nehru Salai at Thirumangalam, near MEPZ and Tambaram Taluk Government Hospital at Chromepet on GST Road, and at the junction of MGR Salai and Taramani Link Road and near Baby Nagar in Velachery.
Of Rs. 30 crore, Rs.7.35 crore will be spent on escalators alone. Maintenance over a period of three years will cost Rs. 4.5 crore. All the FOBs will have stairs, ramps and escalators.
The ramps will have gradual gradients that will enable senior citizens and others to use the facility with ease. Trained staff will be posted near the FOBs that will be operational from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Land acquisition is not required for these facilities that are expected to be constructed in six months’ time.
Anna Nagar resident P. Manikandan said, with Metro Rail work, most roads in the city had turned into one-way stretches. “There is no traffic signal at many such places and it is possible to cross the road only if a traffic policeman is present on the spot. Foot overbridges will prove very helpful for all sections of people,” he said.
Chromepet resident S. Srimathi welcomed the proposal for an FOB near MEPZ. She said it was becoming difficult to cross GST Road near the railway station. “The government should consider constructing a similar facility at that point too. The foundation stone for an FOB was laid a few years ago but work has not begun yet,” she said.
According to the traffic police, a large number of pedestrians and two-wheeler riders are involved in fatal accidents that happen in the city.