Lack of proper facilities at the Anna Main Road junction near the Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine in K.K. Nagar has made life rather difficult for pedestrians and persons with disabilities.

Staff at the institute said there had been several instances of attendants accompanying persons with disability for treatment at the institute meeting with an accident.

Residents of the locality said the rise in vehicular traffic at the junction of Jawaharlal Nehru Road-Anna Main Road was a cause for concern. Apart from the institute, the E.S.I. Hospital, the K.K. Nagar Peripheral hospital and a private hospital are situated here.

The State Resource and Training Centre for the Disabled which functions from the annexure of the K.K. Nagar Peripheral Hospital and the institute receive a number of persons with disability for certification on Tuesdays and Fridays.

“Motorists hardly heed the signals. Since there are several signals along the stretch, the tendency is to rush past. During the early hours, mofussil buses speed along the stretch,” said E. Raju, who runs a shop in the area.

Since the signals provide only a minute's pause for vehicles, persons with disability find it difficult to cross. “Even we have to run across the road to avoid getting caught in the traffic,” said Nithya Manoj, a faculty at the institute. She suggests that the duration of the signals near the hospitals be increased to help pedestrians.

“In the evenings, the traffic is very heavy. People travelling from Guindy to Anna Nagar have no other alternative but to use J.N. Road. With Metro Rail work in progress, the pedestrians are forced to walk across wherever there is space,” said Girija Raghavan, a resident.

“There are four hospitals here but safe accessibility is lacking for the pedestrians,” said institute director R. Chinnathurai. Doctors at the institute suggest that a three-way subway on the lines of the one beneath Anna Salai be constructed at the spot. It should also have ramp facility, they felt. “The subway on E.V.R. Periyar Salai in front of Government Kilpauk Hospital is the only one in the city with such a facility. The government could provide a ramp and handrails for use by our patients,” a senior doctor said.

Since the State government has a proposal to provide geriatric and orthopaedic facilities at the peripheral hospital, the subway would be necessary, the hospital staff said.

However, Highways Department officials said that constructing a subway would take time as the Metro Rail project had been initiated along the stretch.

Mayor M. Subramanian said though there was no proposal for a subway at the moment, he would direct Chennai Corporation officials and Police to look into the request for such a facility.

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R. SujathaJune 28, 2012

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