For several thousand residents, making their way to East Tambaram, poses a massive hurdle.
Forced to walk across railway lines at a crucial intersection, pedestrians have to navigate through rubble and rubbish, in order to get across.
In early 2010, a road overbridge was constructed at the intersection of Mudichur Road, Grand Southern Trunk Road and Velachery Main Road – all arterial roads in the city’s southern suburbs. Some months later, the railway level crossing (LC No. 30) was closed down as is normally done after constructing bridges or subways to replace them.
However, this was done without providing an alternative access route for pedestrians to reach either side of the railway line. The road overbridge did not have the mandatory flight of steps usually provided for the convenience of pedestrians.
“Considering that the intersection is the most important in the city suburbs, next only to Kathipara, Southern Railway and the State Highways Department should have provided a staircase along with the bridge,” said M. Sarathy, a resident of Irumbuliyur.
Since they cannot use the road overbridge, several thousand people, including young students on their way to government and aided schools in East Tambaram, people on their way from themarkets in West Tambaram to East Tambaram terminus to board buses to small towns in remote pockets like Madurapakkam, Vengaivaasal and Agaram, among other villages, have no other option but to cross the railway level crossing.
Senior citizens and those who are sick on their way to government and private clinics and hospitals in West Tambaram too, use the crossing to reach their destinations. “As it is, it was a great inconvenience for us to cross the level crossing. Now, heaps of construction rubble have been dumped and we have to climb over them. It is like an obstacle course. It is still alright for the young, but how can pregnant women and senior citizens get across? asked M. Anbu, who runs a push cart selling snacks in the locality.
Irumbuliyur residents said the pedestrian subway connecting the railway station near the West Tambaram terminus was too far and the limited-use subway for vehicles near the level crossing could not be used by pedestrians.
Under such circumstances, what was urgently needed for pedestrians was a full-fledged foot overbridge or a pedestrian subway, said S. Ramesh, a resident of East Tambaram.