Lack of illumination and badly maintained grade separator poses a constant threat to motorists after sunset
Lack of illumination and poor maintenance make the Padi grade separator a hazard for motorists using the facility after sunset. With only a few lights on the Padi side and fewer on the Villivakkam side, the elevated road is plunged into darkness after dusk. Battered speed-breakers and potholes are proving to be potential death traps for two-wheeler riders.
Aravamudhan Sriram of Anna Nagar West, who regularly uses the flyover, says: “I have no choice but to use the grade separator when I travel from my college towards Anna Nagar. After dark, one can cross it only with the help of vehicle headlights.” He adds that very few cat’s-eyes (reflectors) are visible, and he is forced to slow down fearing a speed braker.
Safety in jeopardy
When the grade separator was inaugurated in February 2009, it was expected to ease the traffic woes of those crossing Padi junction.
Though it has met that goal to a large extent, it has at the same time put the safety of the motorists in jeopardy, Mr. Sriram adds.
Heavy vehicle movement adds to the danger. An Madras Transportation Corporation driver on route number 571 says: “Many a time I have narrowly escaped bumping on the huge trailers which use the bridge after 10 p.m. The sand deposits on the grade separator are not removed regularly.
“On Tuesday, I managed to avoid running over a two-wheeler rider, who skidded on roadside just opposite Lucas TVS bus stop.” The bus driver said that the rider was driving slowly, but applied the brakes after hitting the sand deposits. In the impact he fell and escaped unhurt.
The policemen on duty near the stop said that they had informed their officials about this menace, which was duly conveyed to the Chennai Corporation and the State Highways Department.
A visit by The Hindu Downtown team revealed that of the seven high-mast lamps on the Anna Nagar side and four on the Red Hills side have not been working for more than two months.
However, a couple of lights in the middle of the road on the Padi side and at least seven or eight lights on Villivakkam side were in working condition.
The Chennai Corporation’s Electrical Department personnel on Tuesday last carried out repair works on a few lamp posts from Anna Nagar West Bus Depot up to the flyover, which is a welcome sign.
The motorists now want the Corporation to also repair the high mast lights on the flyover.