Move planned after suicide prevention helpline identifies it as hotspot
After suicide prevention helpline Sneha identified Kotturpuram bridge as a hotspot for suicides, the Chennai Corporation has begun work on the construction of a higher parapet wall along the bridge at a cost of Rs. 1.2 crore.
“The NGO had represented us and showed us data that after the suicide of a well-known person, there had been a number of suicides at that bridge. Hence, we have decided to increase the height of the wall by 1.2 metre,” said an official of the Corporation.
A concrete wall, about six feet high, will come up, above which vertical steel bars will be installed for a height of six feet.
Horizontal bars will not be used to rule out people climbing on them, the official said.
Since the bridge is used by a lot of pedestrians, the footpath will also be improved as part of the work, he added.
Sneha founder Lakshmi Vijayakumar said an analysis of 10 years of data on suicides showed that six persons had committed suicide at the Adyar bridge between 2003 and 2013.
In comparison, during the same period, 20 persons had jumped to their death from the Kotturpuram bridge.
“After a well-known resident committed suicide there, there were six suicides at the same spot in one year,” she explained.
“Persons with suicidal tendencies get fixed on one method and invariably, they repeatedly attempt the same method. If there is a hotspot, then there is a chance of more people doing that. In the West, there are a few bridges, including the San Francisco bridge, that are known to be suicide hotspots and placing barriers has helped reduced the suicide rate,” she said.