To construct footpath near junction of Poonamallee High Road and Nelson Manickam Road

The Highways Department wants the Chennai Corporation to part with a portion of Open Space Reservation land near the junction of Poonamallee High Road and Nelson Manickam Road to construct a footpath.

In the absence of a pavement on the widened stretch of Poonamallee High Road, pedestrians are forced to walk on the carriageway, an official of the Highways Department said, adding that a letter seeking part of the OSR land has been sent to the civic body recently. The OSR land, on which a park has been developed, is near a shopping mall.

The Highways Department recently constructed an 11-metre-wide bridge at a cost of Rs.6 crore adjoining an existing arch facility near the junction to widen the arterial road and facilitate smooth flow of traffic in the area. It has also started work to construct footpath up to the beginning of the OSR land.

“The bridge, which has been thrown open for traffic, has helped to reduce congestion at the spot, which was a bottleneck. But, pedestrians now have no dedicated space and are forced to walk on the carriageway. We have asked the Corporation for land, which is 3 metres wide for a distance of 50 metres,” an official of the department said.

Corporation Commissioner D. Karthikeyan said the civic body is examining whether a portion of OSR land can be given. “They are asking the land to construct a footpath… it is to provide a safe space for pedestrians and thereby ensure smooth flow of traffic… We are seeing if it is permissible,” he said.

J.R. Balaji, who commutes from the Central station to Nelson Manickam Road at least thrice a week, said the new bridge helped to decongest the junction.

“The old bridge was proving inadequate and invariably there was a pile up of vehicles at the point during peak hours. It is now easy to take a left turn at the signal,” he said.

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Deepa H. RamakrishnanJune 28, 2012

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