ROB in Tambaram causes problems to school students, women, senior citizens
One year after it was dedicated for use by motorists, the road over bridge in Tambaram is yet to get a flight of stairs for the convenience of pedestrians. Most subways and bridges in the southern suburbs have a foot over bridge.
The massive Rs. 80 crore project was partially thrown open for traffic in February last year. The ramps leading to Velachery Main Road were completed in July and have been operational since then.
The gates of the level crossing (LC No. 30) were permanently closed down. Adding to the woes of the pedestrians, the Southern Railway placed permanent a couple of permanent steel beams a few metres ahead of the level crossing gates on either side a few months ago.
The beams were placed so low that people have no other option but to squeeze their way through from beneath or jump over them. While the young and agile manage to jump over the beams, women and the elderly have no other option but to bend under the beams on both sides.
In a recent meeting organised by the Ganapathypuram Residents Welfare Association, Tambaram, residents were critical of the attitude of the government departments concerned. In a memorandum, they appealed to the Kancheepuram District Collector to create easy access for pedestrians to cross Grand Southern Trunk and reach Velachery Main Road across the railway lines.
M.Gopalaswamy, president of the association said several thousand people had to walk across the level crossing to reach schools and to board Metropolitan Transport Corporations buses towards Velachery, Sholinganallur and other parts of Chennai.
P.Jothikumar, a former Tambaram Municipal Councillor, said the spot around the level was prone to petty and serious crimes in the late evening hours with the dense outgrowth of vegetation providing a perfect cover for the criminals and miscreants. “The bridge is beneficial for motorists, but for pedestrians, problems have been increasing by the day,” Mr. Jothikumar said, adding it was an ordeal for pregnant woman, school children and senior citizens was worse.
Animal Husbandry Minister and Tambaram MLA T.K.M.Chinnayya said easy access across the level crossing topped the petitions that he received during grievance meetings. The Tambaram Municipality would be approaching the State Highways Department and the Southern Railway as well for creating an access – either a pedestrian subway or a foot over bridge.
Southern Railway officials said the project was sanctioned in 2004 and at that time, the flight of steps was not part of the project. If the Tambaram Municipality or any other government agency came forward with the proposal for constructing a facility for the benefit of pedestrians, the Southern Railway would consider it, the official said, adding so far none had come forward.