In view of drastic rise in suicides by jumping off bridges in 2013, Chennai Corporation has begun increasing the height of parapet walls of theses facilities

Chennai Corporation on Monday commenced work on modification of bridges across rivers in the city to prevent suicides.

Following request from the police, the corporation has prepared estimates for increasing the height of the parapets of bridges from where a large number of people try to jump into the river.

On Monday, work began on the bridge across Cooum in Chintadripet. According to officials of Chennai Corporation, the height of the parapet of the bridge connecting Pantheon Road and Arunachalam Street will be increased by 3.5 feet. The work will be completed at a cost of Rs. 2 lakh.

Chennai Corporation maintains 262 bridges including 65 high level bridges, 35 foot bridges and 13 grade separators. Bridges in Kotturpuram, Satya Studio, Mandaveli and Srinivasapuram across the Adyar River are where suicides were reported this year. Bridges in Pudupet, Chintadripet, Egmore, Swami Sivananda Salai and Napier Bridge across Cooum River also reported suicides in 2013. The number of suicides has increased from two in 2012 to eight in the four months of 2013.

The bridges are on the list of facilities submitted by the police to Chennai Corporation for modification. The bridges department of the corporation assessed the factors that make it easy for people to jump off them and prepared estimates for modification of these structures.

“Two members of a family in Chintadripet committed suicide, jumping from the same bridge across river Cooum. The third member, Ranjith, tried to scale the parapet six months ago. I prevented him from jumping in the river,” said Johnson, a resident of Chintadripet. “The parapet should be high enough to prevent people from scaling it,” he added.

The corporation, however, seems to have discounted aesthetics of the bridges as Chennaiites will lose view of the Cooum and Adyar rivers once the height of the walls is raised.

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