July 1

I live on Khader Nawaz Khan Road. The foot path adjacent to our house is over a foot high, making it difficult for me at my age to negotiate the footpath. I am forced to use the road, which has a blind corner leading up to the property. Does the foot path have to be so high?

Mrs. Ramaswami, Khader Nawaz Khan Road

Citizens in Chennai are agitated over the encroachment of footpaths. But in Jai Nagar, Arumbakkam half of an entire street is encroached by fencing. The street in question is 12th street Jai Nagar, Arumbakkam, Chennai-600106. Efforts in the past to restore the actual stretch of the road to the Corporation and the Revenue authorities have not borne fruit. The Chennai Corporation has provided street lights, but has failed to retrieve the land from the encroachers. Access for public utility vehicles to this street and other adjoining streets are denied by these encroachments.

C.K.Parameswaran, Arumbakkam

This refers to the elaborate story “Where is my footpath?” (The Hindu July 1). It is a well known fact that pavements in city are invariably encroached upon by different people, poor to rich, patronised by political functionaries as well as government agencies like Corporation of Chennai, CMDA and Highways Department.

To point out a few encroachments in city, the pavement close to Institute of Mental Health in Kilpauk is occupied by many temples and monuments under the very nose of highways and PWD.

The Konnur high road pavement between Ayanavaram traffic signal and Otteri Bridge is totally occupied by slum dwellers depriving the privilege of pedestrians. Thanks to this, the storm water drains department finds it difficult to connect the proposed drain into Otteri Nullah.

The pavement as well as land belonging to CMWSSB on New Avadi road beginning from Villivakkam Nathamuni signal and Kilpauk pumping station and VOC Nagar junction is also under encroachment.

Need of the hour to do away with all sorts of encroachments, the apex court's cent re-ruling must be enforced by our custodians of law in letter and spirit!

K Ramadoss, Ayanavaram

I live on Greams lane. The portion of the sidewalk has been encroached upon and a water pumping station has been built by Apollo hospitals to enable their water tankers to pump and send water to the hospital.

The pumping station is located at the entrance if Greams lane and the hospital at the end of Greams lane.

The hospital administration in violation of orders of the honourable High court of Madras has blocked a portion of the road as reserved parking space for their water tankers. ​

Mohammed Mubeen, Greams Lane

I live in Anna Nagar, Y. Block Main Street. This is right opposite Tower Park rear gate near the Ayyapan temple. Opposite my flats you will find an entire stretch of pathway that is meant for people to walk is unauthorisedly occupied by the builders. Only 40% of the road in this stretch is open for vehicles and pedestrians. If any action is initiated it will be of great relief to road users who are mostly elders and school children.

Ashokkumar, Anna Nagar

I just want to bring to your notice about few neighbours who had done the same where am residing currently.

Long story short - our street is 10 feet wide. Just a bike or cycle can go at a time, not even an auto o Car can take a ride now. That's due to more parking in addition to road block.

We have taken many actions to get this issue addressed by Corporation of Chennai. My brother has submitted 5 letters so far to COC but no action has been taken yet.

Location of the sidewalk: Vallalar Street, MGR Nagar, Chennai - 600078.

Action required: We request Government/COC to take action and clear these hurdles. So that this street would get maximum usage by public and they don't required to turn around and look for other street to walk/ride.

Hoping that, at least now this issue will get addressed.

Logeswaran A, MGR Nagar

The location I am citing is South Mada Street in Mylapore and it is opposite Vasantha Bhavan Hotel.

The place is meant for small vehicles parking but all the area is encroached by the parking of vehicles and the whole of the pavement is beyond the usage of the public.

Besides the vehicles, vendors cart are dumped there and it is virtually an area with no space on the pavement.

If a car is parked at least one will have space to squeeze past it but if seven or eight big Tempo Travellers are parked where can one walk?

I wish the mission of The Hindu does something to mitigate this issue.

Solution: The area should be made a two-wheeler parking zone, because there is a better parking facility in North Mada Street. Parallel parking should be discouraged. No vehicles should be allowed to park for more than three hours as the travel operator permanently use that as a parking zone day and night.

Sad thing is when the parking for a travel van is Rs. 15 in North Mada street (handled by COC)the same here at South Mada is just Rs. 5. The travel operator with the nexus of the parking attendant do not insist for the pavement (this is handled by TEXCO).

Seshadri Baskar, Mylapore

I have been a resident of Chennai since 1997. During these years I have observed how the footpaths are usurped, occupied and destroyed all under the watchful eye of the authorities. They are not turning a blind eye, they simply either choose to ignore it or profit from it or even encourage it.

It is not just the commercial areas like T Nagar or Mount Road that are afflicted by this problem. Even residential areas like Kotturpuram and Adyar are victims as well.

In Kotturpuram, what ever little is left of the footpaths is occupied by auto stand associations, the laundry carts, the cycle repair shops and the mobile tailors. Surprisingly they all flaunt Municipality permit numbers to run their business. And then cars are parked on both sides of the street (4th Main road/Lock Street) which barely leaves enough space for one car to pass through at a time, leave alone pedestrians. There are quite a few retired/aged couples living in that area. I see them struggle to even take a simple evening walk.

On Sardar Patel road in Adyar, opposite to Currimbhoys, under the flyover, an auto repair workshop has opened up. There is oil and grease all over the road. What is supposed to be a parking area is now occupied by this shop. There is a traffic constable in hardly 50 mts from that place but this shop flourishes nevertheless.

On LB road the stretch from Mercy electronics to Murugan store is occupied by fruit vendors and vegetable vendors. 5 years ago there was nothing and the footpath was a clean stretch. Now you can barely walk there.

On Gandhi Mandapam road the footpaths used to be nice and clean; now I see fruit vendors, tender coconut vendors, and sugarcane juice vendors slowly occupying spots. It is only a matter of time before it becomes a mess like Adyar or T Nagar. The moment shops open up people stop and park to visit these shops leading to traffic problems as well.

In my opinion it is not a random occupation of a spot, it is an organized business run by the local henchmen who allot this spots, collect rents and share the proceeds with authorities who in turn ignore the problem. Because with out the participation and blessings of these people in positions of power, no one can dare to even place a blade of grass on the footpath.

We need a clean administration, and then not only the footpaths but the entire city will be clean. I appreciate the initiative taken by The Hindu. I hope the authorities see some sense and act on these concerns.

Srinivas Lingam

It is a matter of right to go in for pavements, pathways etc as we are in a metropolis. I am penning my suggestions as below.

1. We can start with pathways on the main arterial roads, which can facilitate children and slow moving population.

2. Next, we can have service lanes adjacent to main roads to facilitate cyclists and two-wheelers.

Ravi Shankar, Indira Nagar

I wholeheartedly welcome the initiative taken by The Hindu regarding the issue of the abysmal condition of the footpaths in Chennai. Sure, it is better to light a candle, instead of cursing the darkness.

I am from Adyar where there is hardly any foot path worth its name. The suffering and woes of the Adyarites especially the elderly, physically challenged and children is indescribable.

Presently, huge work is going on foot paths in Gandhi Nagar, where the existing footpath kerb stones have been dug up causing great inconvenience and safety hazards for the pedestrians. These are being replaced by granite kerb stones evidently at huge expense of tax payer’s money but the purpose of which is a puzzle to the Adyarites because none of the below problems seem to be getting addressed in the process.

The problems with the existing foot paths are as follows:

1. Nonexistent platforms forcing people to walk on the road perilously close to the vehicle traffic (Sardar Patel road itself is an example)

2. Very narrow width making the footpath practically unusable

3. Electrical panels fully obstructing the foot path

4. Much higher height of the kerb stones making it difficult if not impossible to climb on to the footpaths

5. Dug up tiles, pot holes on the platform

6. Car ramps projecting out of shops and houses encroaching on to the platforms

7. Encroachments by shops, compound walls into the platform

C. Namachivayam, Adyar

I am sending the details of encroachment of pedestrian space by the Modern Senior Secondary school Nanganallur located in AGS Colony.

Location of Sidewalk: V Street, AGS Colony, Nanganallur.

Description of issue: Due to insufficient space to park all the two wheelers of teachers and students inside the school premises, the entire side walk on the southern side of the V Street has been usurped by the school to park such vehicles inconveniencing the residents of the street who are mostly senior citizens.

Action Required: School Management should be forced to build adequate infrastructure for Vehicle parking inside their premises as per the norms prescribed by CMDA for a Higher Secondary School functioning in a residential area.

V.Subramanian, Nanganallur

A letter dated 07/07/11, sent to the Corporation Commissioner by Shetdass Engineers P Ltd. The bunk in question is still functioning from the same location.

Sir,

This is to bring to your kind notice that there is an encroachment since 27/06/2011 in form of setting up a temporary bunk, occupying pavement, causing great hindrance to the pedestrians who are prevented from free usage of the pavement. Apart from this, the bunk has effectively started selling Tea, snacks, etc On account of this we noticed a large number of people in front of the bunk parking their two wheelers and four wheelers on the road. This causes great hardship to the pedestrians.

The huge crowd so gathered at the bunk throws and scatter the remnants around the area, which causes furthermore nuisance due to the area becoming very much untidy and also obviously, it’s a health hazard.

Besides we would also like to point out that Nelson Manickam Road is already crowded and has become congested by reason of overflow of traffic causing frequent accidents.

There is already a divider and a ‘U’ turn in front which further aggravates the problems and other inconveniences resulting in traffic jam in peak hours. Now the pedestrians are forced to walk on the centre of the road itself due to the above encroachment, as a result of which the people are prone to possible accidents. The traffic snarl, over crowding and accidents are becoming more and more a day to day affair due to the above encroachment.

Earlier a similar bunk that encroached the pavement was evicted by corporation promptly some 5 to 6 years back. Now the situation has become worsened and long before it becomes grave on account of the above encroachment, we sincerely request your good office to initiate immediate action to clear the encroachment in the interest of the safe use of the pavement.

We have already lodged a complaint in writing to the Zonal Manager Vth Division of Corporation, a copy of which is enclosed for your kind perusal and action.

We sincerely hope that your good office will evict the bunk thereby solving the problems put forth by the placement of the bunk.

S. Ravi, Sr. Manager, Shetdass Engineers P Ltd

Every time a new public utility problem is addressed we always tend to cite T Nagar and Mylapore. But here at North Chennai, Villivakkam North and Red Hills roads pedestrians do not have an inch of space to move. There are 4 TASMAC shops with in a kilometre radius and many encroachers on the left of north Red Hills road while moving towards Villivakkam railway station. The plight of pedestrians is horrible. Kindly address our area too.

Balaji Subbaraman, Mahaveer Nagar

July 2

After the Passport Seva Kendra was opened on Arcot Road, Saligramam near Bhanumathi Ramakrishna Road, the already choking footpaths had to accommodate numerous photocopy shops and notaries. To the left up to Big Bazaar, there is no footpath and to the right, up to 80 Feet Road, the footpath is in a pathetic condition and inaccessible at many places with even an auto stand at Jain Swarna Mahal on the footpath.

Col C Rajan Babu (Retd), Saligramam

Hop, step and jump. That is what you have to do if you have to have a feel of the footpath in our locality, Kodambakkam. Residents and businessmen alike have taken it for granted to use this extra space the way like for their personal use, be it a garage, garden, godown, construction of humps extending to a major portion of the road for entry of vehicles, dumping waste, parking, defecation, hotels, etc. Corporation support comes in the form of costly garbage collection enclosures which have become public toilets and no one can go nearby (eg. United India Colony III and V Streets). Telephone junction boxes are frequently used for public ’convenience’ and for sticking of posters. The so-called improved drainage work in Anna Road has left the road and footpath so bad. Every year most of the footpaths are re-laid, leaving many portions occupied, dirty, around the telephone boxes etc. untouched but in many places so close to the trees. What is astonishing is that this relaying is done at places where it is actually not required. This is done only to break it again for planting mostly drumstick trees and flowering plants (UI Colony V Street). There is a colony of rag pickers living on the footpath at the beginning of Anna Road and around the Circular Park. The condition of the inner and outer circular roads around the park has to be seen to be believed. I have been reporting to the Corporation ‘on line' and some action is taken in most cases. But why is a perfect and permanent solution not forthcoming? Spoiling the road and footpath has to be made punishable and the residents have to change their mindset to bring about a proper change.

While we talk of footpath, we also need to mention about the roads, which are casually topped and patch worked. All the adjacent buildings are waterlogged and they do anything possible to avoid this. What is required is to remove few top layers of the road, recycle it and properly relay with proper gradient and provision to avoid water logging. This suggestion was implemented in front of US Consulate and Periyar Road and these roads are intact for more than two years. Similarly, concrete roads near Valluvar Kottam are a marvel as such. On the other hand, there is concrete road around the Circular Park in United India Colony, Kodambakkam. Here a number of vehicles are parked all over in this area, including imported cars, for months, covered with dust and rust and also with flat tyres. At least some of them may be discarded.

K.R. Induchudan, Kodambakkam

Location of the sidewalk: V.M Street and Balaji Nagar, Royapettah

Description of the issue: Localities such as V.M Street or Balaji Nagar in Royapettah have never witnessed proper pavements. As more people use the space meant for pavements, parking for instance, there is hindrance for smooth driving as well.

Actions required: Sand, stones and plastic trash for walkable pavements and breathable environment have to be cleared. Frequent checking by the CTP can avoid random parking of vehicles for long hours on the roadside.

Preethi Swaminathan, Royapettah

A coffee shop is exactly in the intersection of Cenotaph Road and Cenotaph 1st Street in Teynampet. His customers are parking their vehicles in the road and affecting the traffic flow. Since the walkway is blocked by a concrete table, there is no space for the pedestrian to use the walkway. Any help from The Hindu to remove the shop permanently from the road side would be greatly appreciated.

V. Sivakumar, Teynampet

There are many problems faced daily by the students and public of Chromepet at Rajendra Prasad Road, Nehru Nagar. The fruit vendor with the cart right on the foot path in front of the NSN School (main) should be relocated at least during the starting and closing time of the school and also the parking of vehicles and shopkeepers occupying the foot path has to be stopped to improve the safety of the public who walk on that road. Rajendra Prasad Road is very busy as busses ply frequently and so many students use that road to reach the school.

Chitra B, Chitlapakkam

I am residing in 25th Cross Street, Besant Nagar and the condition of a manhole in front of my house (centre of the road) is pathetic. I made a call to Corporation of Chennai by dialing 1913 and registered my complaint vide reference 434KCP in April 2013. In spite of repeated follow ups, the manhole has not been replaced and is posing danger to people walking on the road. I called up today to check the status and I received a text message saying, "Your complaint on covering of man holes of SWD is completed". It seems that Corporation is waiting for some calamity to happen after which they might replace it. It is quite a pathetic situation and we are not sure when this will get broken.

V. Srinivasan, Besant Nagar

The pavement opposite to the District Library at the Malar Hospital end was damaged by a JCB from Chennai Corporation while removing garbage one year ago. Some building waste has been dumped next to it. Now, people have recently started using this point to take a pee.

This stretch of road was once quiet, but now with four schools and one college on this road, thousands of students use it every morning and afternoon. They have to walk on the road, dodging cars and vans. Next to this, always parked, is a set of tractor-mixer presumably from the Corporation, making the space even narrower. One can just not walk even on the road, let alone the pavement.

Right at the junction of 1st Main road, Gandhi Nagar and Sardar Patel Road (one of the busiest roads in South Chennai) before the Madhya Kailash Bridge, some digging was done six months back. This has left a space of 10m x 10m where no vehicle or person can venture. This is right in front of the Cancer Hospital, where many patients wait to see doctors. There has been absolutely no response to our requests to fill the space up. Hundreds of cars and two wheelers have to go around this, and face traffic head-on. Irony is, traffic police are about 10 meters from this spot!

K V Seshasayee, Gandhi Nagar, Adyar

We, the residents of 7th Main Road, R. A. Puram, for more than a year now, have been stripped of our right to walk on one side of the above-mentioned road, thanks to the slipshod work undertaken by the Corporation authorities (or their contractors) of laying out the drainage system.

The detritus of their aborted handiwork is a grim reminder of the Corporation's helplessness and apathy; several phone calls and visits to their office at 31, C P Ramaswamy Road have been in vain.

When the excavation work was on, a street lamp was uprooted and it is yet to be replaced despite several reminders to the street lighting department. The lamp post was abutting a Corporation Community Hall, which has since been demolished. It was located opposite Old Door No. 24 (new no. 8).

The small TNEB junction box at this very spot is precariously perched and the tangle of wires and cables indicate the lack of co-ordination amongst the Public Utility Departments who are expected to work in unison! On many occasions we have seen sparks emanating from the rusted ramshackle junction box during spells of rain. The TNEB technicians need to be congratulated for being able to restore a semblance of normalcy amidst this mélange of cable, rubble and discarded cobblestones.

The following measures need to be adopted to bring back the road to its original look:

- Sidewalk to be redone

- Detritus to be removed

- Electrical Junction Box to be replaced and well entrenched before the onset of the North-East Monsoon.

- Storm-water drain outlet not properly finished (left undone till now).

- Street Lamp-post to be re-installed.

V. Kalidas, R. A. Puram

The condition of Kalakshetra Road (from L B Road side) is in shambles. This road was well laid when the Vice President of India visited Kalashetra Foundation a few months back. But after Chennai Corporation took up work for constructing the storm water drain, the condition has become awful. It has been over two months since the work was completed, but nothing has been done to repair the pathetic condition of the road.

Adding to fuel to fire, a trader, dealing in construction materials, has almost usurped the road. Building materials and supply vehicles have occupied the limited footpath the road has to offer. Not that the civic authorities are not aware of this, but they simply do not want to take any action because their interest, on a regular basis, is taken care by this trader.

S. Chandran, Malviya Avenue

July 3

In the on going campaign ‘My Chennai, My Right’, you came out with how one can access the documents or rather the various registers as a prelude to resurrect the city’s footpaths. While the information provided seem quite useful, can one so easily get the required register from the Chennai Corporation? My own personal experience suggests that even the Right to Information route does not impact the departments.

On April 20, 2013, I wrote a letter to the Commissioner, Chennai Corporation, seeking certain details under the Right to Information Act. The letter was sent in the required format (as per the Act) by duly affixing the court fee stamp of Rs.10. Since I did not receive any communication even after the lapse of the mandatory 30 days, I wrote a letter to the Tamil Nadu Information Commission, on June 3 seeking their help. Even the Commission has not replied to my letter to this date (July 3). It would seem that the Right to Information is slowly turning to Right to Ignore.

V.S. Jayaraman, T. Nagar

It is good that The Hindu has come out with this campaign in support of pedestrians. Many cars and two wheelers can be seen parked on available pavements, disregarding the pedestrians. I am a senior citizen. Once when traffic was held up on Arcot Road, bikes used up the available space on the pavement. When I asked one of them to give way, he said that at my age I should be staying at home and not be walking on the roads. The rider and the person on the pillion started laughing. It is survival of the fittest. Hopefully, the Right to Walk campaign will succeed and pavements will be available to pedestrians.

R Ganesh, Kodambakkam

The pavement in front of our road (13th Cross Street, touching 2nd Avenue, Besant Nagar) is dug up and is in such shambles with tiles piled up. The residents of the block of flats on the street (average age 70+) are imprisoned in the house and cannot get down onto the main rd. Please help us by pressurising the corporation to fix the tiles.

Dr. Sunanda Ghosh, Besant Nagar

I am highlighting two issues below.

1. Pavement encroached by a restaurant adjacent to the Police Station in Kotturpuram (in front of Anna Centenary Library). In fact, the encroachment happened in front of the police, less than a year ago.

2. A storm water drain in Velachery was constructed along the 100 ft bypass road, near the Vijayanagar bus stand, where many shops have encroached the land and are using the open drain as their garbage disposal ground. There are no platforms on both sides of the road which has a TASMAC outlet in the corner which creates lot of nuisance to children and women.

Hope your initiative will bring in some change in the mindset of general public as well as the administration.

P.T. Seshadri, Pallikaranai

I am 82 years and live on Barnaby Road and due to uneven and badly maintained footpaths I’m forced to remain at home. I only like to go to the temple and to the bank, which is a few blocks away. Either the footpath is occupied by tea shops or coconut vendors or puncture shops. One is forced to share the roads with buses and fast moving traffic. My suggestion is to have footpaths, which are wide enough to accommodate three people so that it is enough for people to walk and not giving room to these shops. There are also people urinating on the compound walls.

Shivchand N. Vora, Kilpauk

There are so many places in T. Nagar without footpaths or are encroached upon, if available. Old people like me find it life threatening to walk on T. Nagar’s streets. One such place is the platform opposite to a firewood shop near the junction of Dhandapani Street and Venkatanarayana Road. This encroachment has been going on for five decades. I used to lodge a complaint with the traffic police in Pondy Bazaar and saw to it that he was booked and punished a number of times. He stays away from using the platform for some time and then starts again.

Natesan, T. Nagar

I live in one of the by lanes of Triplicane High Road. The stretch of footpath between Rathna Cafe and The Grand Sweets restaurant faces the same ordeal as any other pavement in our city. It is broken on many places and has even disappeared in some as the shopkeepers have extended their boundaries and built footsteps, slopes etc. The vehicles are parked leaving little gap to reach the pavement. Added to these is the presence of drunken men, thanks to a TASMAC outlet located here. The footpath is a virtual picnic spot for these men to sprawl about, to enjoy their drinks and to indulge in noisy drunken brawl. Whatever little place available on the footpath is littered with plastic sachets. Hope we get redemption soon.

T.R. Maragatham, Triplicane

The Corporation of Chennai accepts telephonic complaints at their contact number 1913. This cell is manned by very polite staff and they immediately send an acknowledgement of the complaint via SMS to the consumer. Another SMS is received within a couple of hours, confirming that the complaint has been attended to, which is not true. I have used this number a couple of times to report non removal of debris left behind after a new pavement was installed on Ramakrishna Street, T.Nagar, but till date, no action has been taken, though I received confirmation of the same via SMS.

Another frustrating issue is that conservancy staff refuse to lift the debris and demand payment for the same from the apartment owners, even though the debris is left behind by the contractors who laid the new pavements.

What recourse does the tax paying consumer have for such errant behaviour on the part of the corporation?

U. Pillai, T.Nagar

July 4

The area I am referring to is in Ambattur, specifically 1st Cross Main Road, off 3rd Main Road. What we had before all of the infrastructure work began was two open top ditches about three feet wide on either side of the road. Now the authorities decide to widen one side, spend tax payers money, and have a ditch that collects rainwater and is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

All we had to do, is put a concrete drain pipe in place, close it up, and provide a sidewalk for the people who use this road. But now we have a road that is less wide than what we had before, and the pedestrians have to share the same road with vehicles, inhaling the dust as they trudge their way to work.

We would appreciate if this matter is looked in to further. Thanks in advance.

Ravi, Ambattur

Many cases have been filed to clear the platform in Pondy Bazaar occupied by the shop keepers. Right to use the platform by the pedestrians is heavily affected. Moreover, tiny shops selling keychains and hairclips are occupying the entrance of the shops or near the beginning of staircases. In spite of a building constructed for these people in the same area, the shopkeepers have not shifted to this building. As customers, frequently visiting Pondy Bazaar, we would like to know the reasons for not occupying the building and why the authorities are accountable for not implementing the eviction.

Balambal Ramakrishnan, T Nagar

I would like to bring to your attention Luz Corner in Mylapore. This is on the junction of Royapettah High Road - Luz Church Road. Here, the hawkers have not only obstructed the pavements but have also occupied Royapettah High Road. While trying to photograph these, I was opposed by the hawkers and they tried to man handle me.

It is difficult to understand how the Corporation of Chennai and the police department have allowed this and refuse to take any action. Royapettah High Road is one-way due to lack of space, and the hawkers have merrily occupied the road on both sides and have reduced the road width by at least 10 ft right on Luz signal.

My humble suggestion would be to make some right person act by removing such encroachments at least near the signal.

Ravichandran, Mylapore

There is always a police van and a booth at the junction of Usman Road-Duraiswamy Road opposite Pothys. The hawkers outside Pothys, the autos and share taxis occupy the space adjacent to Nallis blocking movement of traffic.

A few months back around 7 pm I was walking from Ramanathan Street towards Ranganthan street. I saw the vendors below the flyover packing and running with their wares. Two lady constables were walking and warning them about the visit of a police officer. About 30 ft behind them walked a police officer accompanied by a few aides. He walked till the middle of the flyover and turned back. And behind him walked the lady constables giving the all clear signal to hawkers.

I have seen many states and to me it appears that the police in T. Nagar is the most corrupt and I see no improvement in this part of the city. The day is not far off when one of the buildings will collapse on this road/Ranganathan street and thousands will die and many more die due to stampede and shock.

Ramesh V., T. Nagar

A clear example of the apathy of the enforcing authorities and the helplessness of pedestrians can be experienced if one takes a walk from the west end of Nageswaran Road through Pothys to Duraiswamy subway in the evenings.

Ten tears back one could do it in 5-6 minutes. Now it will take 20 to 30 minutes because all the traders have occupied the road making it extremely impossible for walkers to alternate between slope levels and raised platforms. Vendors have taken over permanently near Pothys and it is like walking through a cage while the rest of the pathway is taken over by traders and hawkers.

On Duraiswamy Road some famous shops have taken over about 8 feet of the pathway and an astounding concrete ramp put up by a store has made it impossible for people to walk here. Add to this the lawless white minivans and autos who occupy the kerb for the whole stretch of Duraiswamy Road.

Nearer the subway any no. of eateries and punture shops and vendors have virtually made life impossible for walkers. Unless huge penalties are awarded on lawbreakers by enforcing authorities, T. Nagar will become a Ranganathan.

V.S. Gopalarathnam, T. Nagar

The Corporation, after admitting that there are commercial establishments encroaching on public space, cannot shirk their responsibility with respect to enforcement. They do not have to police every establishment. A Public Notice calling upon all commercial establishments to refrain from encroaching on public spaces with a 15 day period for corrective action by the establishment would be the first step. A levy of a fine of Rs. 1000 for every square foot per day would be the next step. Strict enforcement of the second step is the deterrent. Then as the unnamed corporation official has asked ‘for citizens to do their bit’, the common man can bring to the notice of the enforcing officials the erring establishments. Political will for enforcement of the need of the hour.

Sheila Jayaprakash, Mogappair

July 5

Considering the way our footpaths are also shows the proclivity of our people to use the road rather than the footpath. The first step maybe to start walking on the right hand side of the road rather than the left side. This way the pedestrian would have the oncoming vehicle in their sight most times.

Sajith Kandeth, Perungudi

Thanks for your effort in campaigning on the misuse of footpath.

I would like to bring it to your notice that Kovai Pazhamudir Nilayam in Shanthi Colony, Anna Nagar, is abusing not only the footpath (by extending his sales activity) but also the adjacent road for their exclusive customer parking by deploying 1 parking attendant.

It's not that no one has brought this to the notice of K-4 Police, but there has been no action.

I happened to check with one local weekly tabloid, it was to my surprise I was told that this shop is having high level lobby and hence even after publishing in that weekly also didn't fetch any result.

On the other hand, the traffic police give a hard time to patients visiting Sundaram Medical Foundation just for parking two wheeler adjacent to road, which does not even contribute to road traffic.

Om Prakash, Anna Nagar

Chennai has become very crowded and pedastrians are taken for a ride in this historic city. Regulatory authorities should focus on the issues since it is on the increase now.

Pavements and platforms have become a thing of the past. The reason for this is the large scale encroachments by the shop keepers all over the city of Chennai. There is no proper regulation by the traffic authorities to help the pedestrians who find it difficult to walk on the roads. Traffic is becoming too heavy and we see a lot of vehicles on the road thanks to the policy of the banks granting vehicle loans very generously. Recently one of my friends was at a shop purchsing a bread. An automan was reversing and hit my friend for no fault of his in the tiny TMM St in Vnananthurai near Besant Nagar.This is one of the many instances in the area in which the pedestrains are hit by the vehicles and we started enduring the same since we are not able to cure the same.We appealed to the authorities in vain lot of times!.Govt and the concerned officials should sit together to find a solution immediately!

Vannanthurai has become too busy and TMM ST is becoming a dumping yard to say the least.Right in the middle of hte road some abondoned tricycles are dumped.Just opposite to that htere is an open EB Junction Box posing danger.During rains it becomes miserable mainly for the Senior Citizens since the traffic is too heavy and one do not get any leg space!

S.Venugopalan, Vannanthurai

It is true that our pavements in this city are non existent. Where they do exist, they are totally unusable due to various factors which I do not need to dwell on. Everyone knows it and everyone sees it. Everyday. One important aspect that is not being addressed when it comes to pedestrian convenience is the traffic flow pattern.

Let us assume we have decent enough pavements for people to walk on. But with continuous traffic flowing on one way roads like College Road, Haddows Road, Nungambakkam High Road and many other roads in the city, one cannot cross any of these roads at any point. The ‘free left turn’ also adds to the problem in a similar way. Looks like the one way system has been introduced mainly to ease the problem of the traffic police. Besides, our drivers do not have the patience to wait at a traffic light even for a mere sixty seconds. Without traffic stopping how can people cross a road? If we expect people to use pavements, then we should also expect them to cross the road at some point. In busy places like Manhattan in New York City and other places, traffic lights exist at the end of every block and the traffic obeys them. This why it is so easy to be a pedestrian in that city. And of course, the pavements are very walkable. And this is true in most of the ‘developed’ world. If we are to improve amenities for pedestrians here, this is one aspect we must address.

Another point I would like to bring up is the ramps we often find at gates of all new constructions. These project well into the public place which is actually meant for the pedestrian. This happens because the plot owner has raised the level of his plot often to monstrous heights. The blame for this must entirely fall on the civic authorities. Each time they re lay the roads, they increase its level by quite a few inches. Subsequently many of the old houses and bungalows – on Harrington Road , for example – suffer. The road level, over the years, has gone up way above their plots and each time it rains, their compound is flooded with water often entering the houses. There is nothing they can do other than break and reconstruct their houses with a higher plinth! The authorities had sometime ago announced that all future road repair work would be done removing a layer of the existing surface so that the final level does not go up. But what I have seen does not seem to be so. They callously keep adding layer upon layer to existing roads..This has to stop and the authorities have to be held accountable here.

And one more point. Most new commercial buildings and apartment blocks leave their entire roadside open so that cars can park directly from the road for the entire width of their property and the end of the cars often stick out beyond the boundary of the plot. This extra space is often ramped up on to the road thus pushing the pedestrians on to the carriage way.

With all the debate you have initiated and with people writing in every day with photographs of non existent pavements, please consider the above points as well. Enough pictures have now been provided by readers about the plight of pavements. Now what is the next step in trying to get these remedied? I notice we always highlight our problems but how do we ensure action is taken to set them right? You, our newspaper, have to lead us here

Ravi Kumar Nair, Kilpauk Garden Road

Way back in 2004, I wrote to The Hindu about vanishing foot paths and it was published in the Sound Off column. From 2004 to 2013 the scenario has completely changed and all those remaining footpaths of 2004 has completely gone extinct. Now almost all of us in this city who are to walk for any reason and in any season are adept to walk with fear and terror each time we walk along a road. The problem is much worse in areas like ECR where costly sedans are gliding past at 70 – 80 km speed just missing your shoulder because you have artistically bent to avoid being hit by that car. Imagine the woe of those who have to cross the road at any given point in E|CR road. To feel the life time experience of escaping death and feeling the exhilarating victory of having crossed the road , I invite my fellow city –zens to come and cross the road at ECR between Thiruvanmiyur and Injampakkam.

Whenever we send our kids to the road side shop that require a road crossing we used to wait for their return with agonising hearts , such is the condition of our roads which do not have a foot path or does not allow anybody to cross it. What a wonderful development to cherish in our democratic nuclear powered country.

I Used to watch the VIP convoys that frequents the ECR road. With great speed and in a group of around 20 vehicles our top citizens are literally flying in this road. Leave alone VIP s but all the high officials and elite of the society are always traveling in a speeding chauffeur driven vehicle. They never know the feel of the road and the perils of absence of foot paths or the near impossible road crossings. But unfortunately they are the one who governs , runs and plan this city of poor struggling pedestrians. Let the high officials , politicians, and VIPs at least try to take a walk on any road in this city on a working day to find out what is the real problem. If they are not going to step out of their cars and convoys, then all our efforts to bring to notice the dangers of the roads are going to be farcical

The people are running marathons for social cause, likewise we have to organise Chennai walk by including celebrities in disguise and the event should be kept secret. It should be a casual walk where no police escort to be given so that those who are oblivious to this no foot path problem will at least come to know the deplorable conditions of our city and its poor pedestrians.

After our independence how many more struggles are we going to undertake? The right to walk, the right for a safe road crossing , the right for safe potable water at our dry corporation tabs, the right for metered autos, the list will be endless , that too all these are very fundamental and essential for day to day life. How on earth with so many malfunctioning and non-existing facilities Chennai plots and flats are being sold for crores of Rupees. A mind boggling question.

J. Danabal, Kottivakam

While citizens are fighting for walking space in crowded residential and commercial areas, the Chennai Corporation is re-laying the foot path in Kasturi Ranga Road, full of big bungalows and hardly any pedestrians. Part of this foot path is already encroached with garden by the residents

G.S. Vijayaraghavan, Ambattur

I think in the first phase of this campaign, you are covering the core city and have not yet touched the suburbs like our area, Medavakkam. Our area is a one which is experiencing exploding expansions on all sides, but the pedestrians are forgotten as usual. For instance, you may cover the Mambakkam and Perumbakkam signal areas in Medavakkam Bazaar area and it will amply show you how the pedestrians are struggling even to move one feet ahead. Worst is the situation of crossing the roads in the above said places. Foot over bridge is the immediate need of the hour in these two junctions and also at Medavakkam Cross Road. Such bridges are built in some areas but never used. But here people will thank all, if such bridges are constructed.

V. Raman, Medavakkam

My application for road register went in vain . I am waiting for it for the past 2 and a half years. After appealing to Appellate finally i had approached the STATE INFORMATION COMMISSIONER also .

In the mean time, out of 10 houses in a row, 6 got enchroached . My Complaints to all officials went in vain. The increase in land value is making people craze for enchroaching.

We are neglected from receiving any records through RTI if it is not favourable.Once my neighbour threatened me that i will be facing consequences. This is how our life moves on if we oppose or air our views.

P.Geetha, Guindy

July 6

Location and description: The Velachery Vijayanagar junction is a nightmare. So many ILLEGAL "porambokku" shops selling biriyani,waste paper etc have occupied that junction causing massive traffic bottlenecks.

People are forced to walk on the road in the junction because of the TASMAC shop and other illegal shops causing massive traffic jams.

Action required: Demolish all the illegal shops in the junction and make way for pedestrians.

Srini Swaminathan

At Taylors Road, Appa Garden Road and smaller streets around them in Kilpauk.

Although this is still a predominantly residential area, with half a dozen schools in a 1km radius, pedestrians are forced to walk on the road.

Where once there were wide, low and accessible pavements, now there are none or pavements that are impossible to use because they are too high, broken down, blocked (by transformers, shops or parked cars) or taken over for other uses.

Taylors Road and Halls Road have become major link roads to Anna Nagar. Traffic is heavy at most times of day. There is no traffic management. There are no pedestrian crossings. We (I am 76 years old) just take our chances by diving into traffic or walking through it.

There is a proposed metro station that would in principle be walking distance for this area, but getting there will mean walking on busy roads and crossing streets where traffic never stops.

What this area needs are clear continuous pavements of a height that is usable by the elderly. It needs pedestrian crossings. It desperately needs properly managed traffic.

Kusum Mody

Location of the Sidewalk : Bazullah Road (Near North Usman Road, Vivek & Co Signal),

Description of the Issue: The platform has been completed encroached upon and fenced for putting up a pavement park by a builder forcing the pedestrians to walk on the road endangering their life in one of the busiest road. We request the authorities to act and clear the pavement for pedestrians use.

S.Muralidharan

Location of sidewalk: Sterling road, Nungambakkam along the Sri Lankan High commission

Issue: As if the absence of traffic lights at the junction of sterling road near Loyola college was not enough, the Sri Lankan embassy has encroached upon the platform right from the stretch opposite Krishnaswamy matric school up to the embassy and a little beyond, by putting up barbed wire, barricades and security guard enclosures, forcing pedestrians to use the carriageway. Even at the opposite side of the road, barricades have encroached on the pavement. Is this the price the common man has to pay for the safety of the High Commissioner? In this case, the encroacher is not "public" but the government itself. Can this be changed?

Athiya Fathima

July 7

Congratulations on initiating the compaign which in my opinion is yielding results. Great Show. This compaign is an eye opener and the success depends on the cooperation and the willingness of the people in corporation and government. Corporation has great responsibility to the citizens of Chennai.

Let me talk about K.K. Nagar. K.K. Nagar like Annanagar, is well planned with many trees all along the road and many of the roads are wide enough to cater to the growing population. But unfortunately the benefits of such roads are not felt by the citizens. For example the usage of 80 ft road is 40 ft only due to parking of vehicles on either side of roads by travel agents, eataries occupying entire footpath, garbage dumping on footpaths, small unauthorised worship places on the pavements etc.

The solution to these problems needs to be addressed immediately. In my opinion the following may regulate a bit and clean up the city

• Problems should be nipped at the bud, i.e when a travel agent parks one car in the begining, he should be fined and not allowed to function. Let me give an example of Saudi Arabia, where even the taxis are not allowed to wait anywhere to pick up passengers and there are specific places to park the taxis in the night. In Dubai vehicles can be parked at specific designated place on payment of fee.

• Installation of Cameras at strategic places and displaying that there is camera installed in the street which is being monitored. Immediate action should be taken when someone parks the vehicle or someone urinates or garbage is dumped.

• Contractors laying roads or laying cables or digging pits should be made to close the pits so that there are no gaping holes on the roads to cause accidents.

• Builders should not be allowed to construct houses if there are no parking spaces inside the flat.

• Eateries are health hazards which nipped at the bud will lead to healthy living

There are so many ways to mitigate such problems, which can be done by the government. Finally where there is a will there is a way.

The initiative taken by The Hindu is a begining in the right direction and will be appreciated by the citizens of chennai over the years to come.

N. Suresh

Location of the sidewalk: Velachery 100 feet bye pass road (Near Velachery bus stand)

Description of the issue:

1. The side walk is not fully present along the stretch from the bus stand. Hence pedestrians have to walk on the road along with vehicles. Unfortunately the vehicles don’t accommodate space for us, hence we have to wait till the vehicles in front of us

2. The level of the foot path is not even and is up and down, especially between the entrances of shops and residential apartments. This makes it difficult for all senior citizens to get up and down each time while walking on it

3. Encroachment by shops along the path

4. Hoardings and electric posts are present in the middle of the path. Hence cannot be used in that stretch

5. Shop keepers using footpath as parking area

Action required:

1. The walk way is even along the whole stretch from the Bus stand itself as majority of the passengers head towards bye pass road from it

2. No obstacles in the middle

3. Prevent motor vehicles from using the footpath

S.Venkat

Location of the pavement - Right on GST Road, at Thirumangalam Signal junction towards Koyambedu, Anna Nagar

Description of the issue and action required.

1) Foot path was removed 2 yrs ago - when Bridge construction wasn’t even started

2) The Storm water drain is effectively out of order - all paths to the now invisible drain is blocked!!

3) Water logging at its Worst.. People now walk on the Road in one of the worst Congested Areas in CHENNAI. People wait for buses on the road or on the dirty water

Point is – It’s not enough to warn residents about water logging and mosquito menace..How does the corporation plan to address the water logging problem right on their own roads!!!

Action Required - BARE Minimum is ensure the Water doesn’t get logged till the various Govt departments and contractors figure out when/how and by what means they will complete Thirumangalam Bridge , figure out the Metro construction at the junction, When and how they will prune/cut down the 35+ year old trees in the avenue to complete their grand plans.

Sriram Vasudevan

July 8

I live in Srinagar Colony, Saidapet. It is a green, peaceful neighbourhood where footpaths exist but are largely unused as they are slippery and ill maintained. The walkers choose the roads themselves that are fortunately broad.

There is an implicit hierarchy on our Indian roads where the pedestrian falls at the lowest level. This contrasts sharply with the organized Western road scene where a pedestrian is duly rightfully privileged. Without digressing as to why there is this contrast, let me dwell on what is wrong with our own city roads when it comes to the man-on-foot’s safety and what needs change.

Ours is a developing society with ugly economic and social disparities. These extend to our roads – where the footpather is a nobody and the pondy-registered-imported-car-driver/owner is a somebody. There is a certain untold arrogance in the way our traffic operates. I once wondered why we have so many people jaywalking and risking their own lives as well as panicking the oncoming vehicles. I then realized there aren’t any (or a sufficient number of) zebra crossings in the first place. Even if there are, no one respects the green man on the traffic signal. I personally know of a young servant maid who died while crossing the road, at a pedestrian crossing where vehicles are known for NOT stopping when they should.

The same plight extends to the case of footpaths. While we look at broadening roads and creating / encroaching space for parking and driving vehicles, we don’t put as much thought to the common man on foot. It is a common sight to find footpaths taken, broken, moss-ridden. The many photos published in the Hindu just in the last few days stand proof of this fact. Only two entities can create a positive difference here – the Government and the common man himself. An awareness of the prevalent footpath-issues, a collective change in attitude for the better in view of respect for the human life (irrespective of which human!) and active measures to rebuild / revamp footpaths in each locality will go a long way in making the pedestrian’s life better. Let us walk the talk so we can walk the walk!

Anupama

The unfinished construction of a canal through the 3rd avenue AnnaNagar (connecting Otteri nalla and Kuvum River) is an incessant misery to hundreds of people living here. We have one church and two temples on the road side. Hundreds of believers are suffering a lot to reach their worship place. There is no pavement at all. It is the one of the busiest places of the city. The place has become so isolated and unreachable due to the uncleared debris and disappeared pavement because of the construction. We want a sudden action from the road authority to finish the construction and to make the road functional.

Rev. Baiju Markose

The residents of First Cross, Kamaraj Street, West Gandhinagar, Avadi comes under Ward No 34 of Avadi Municipality. The streets in this area are already dug up for laying underground drainage pipes. But except for filling mud in the dug up area no any other repair works have been carried out to make it suitable for use by the residents and all are aware that the residents are not in a position to drive their vehicles in these streets.

States of these streets have worsened due to rain. After rain the streets have become pools of mixture of mud and silt though which people cannot even walk. Driving car or two wheelers is out of question. The situation is more critical in streets like first Cross, Kamaraj Street where there is no proper provision for drainage of wastage water coming out of the houses. Waste water is drained to the streets only by the residents due to lack of proper drainage system. During raining this waste water also mix with the mud and silt. At this stage the streets cannot be used by even pedestrians. The condition of school going children cannot be described. Moreover, accumulation of waste water and its stagnancy is very much unhygienic and breeding of mosquitoes may lead to spread of epidemic.

Moses Street is the only link street for the residents of Kamaraj Street First Cross to reach CTH road, but the condition of that street also become worst during rainy season. Many people have fallen down from their two wheelers due the worst condition of the street.

The situation becomes more critical and worrisome when people fall sick and are required to be taken to hospital. As vehicles cannot move on these streets, the only option will be to lift the patient by other person as is generally done in some very remote and hilly areas in Jammu and Kashmir or Himachal Pradesh. Such a situation in the sub urban location of the Metro City Chennai is definitely shameful, especially for those responsible authorities of the Municipality and elected leaders.

So, the residents of West Gandhinagar, Avadi humbly request the authorities to take necessary steps immediately to carry out repair of these badly affected streets and make the streets black top with proper drainage system. They would be ever grateful to the authorities for this act of kindness.

Lajish Subramanian

July 9

Location: Pavement at Brindavan Street, Mylapore, Chennai (off Royapettah High Road) outside the office of the Asst. Engineer, Corporation of Chennai

Issue: The pavement outside the office of the Assistant Engineer, Corporation of Chennai located at Brindavan Street, Mylapore has been encroached upom by hutments with full knowledge of Corporation officials since this is right outside the Assistant Engineer's office. Are Corporation officials endorsing encroachments? These hutments have been there for over a year.

Action required: Immediate removal of hutments and a departmental enquiry by senior officials into the same. Suitable action against concerned officials.

Sriram Balakrishnan

The footpath in front of Gayathri apartments has been used as storage for mineral water bottles for quite some time. Consequently, the footpath space in front has been constantly occupied by one or two mini-lorries for their transportation.

During rains, the water stagnates in front of the footpath right up to the center of the road. The pedestrians have to walk in the middle of the road to avoid stagnant water. As the storm water drains is located on the other side of the road, there is no way for the water to drain. Corporation should take action to rectify the situation before monsoon.

Ajit Renga

Description of the issue: Myself and my neighbours are eager to exercise the Right to Walk ! But, where is the path to walk Two months back, Metro Water authorities dug First and Third streets of Sector A, Anna Nagar West Extension, for laying pipes. We requested, cajoled, and asked the contractor who was undertaking the digging work to atleast close the dug up portion. He was very magnanimous enough to leave it as such. Frequent showers made the position worse. The street simply turned into a ploughed land. SBOA Matriculation is just a few yards away. These two streets are being used by the school children of these areas to walk through to reach the School. Many school children residing in these streets were unable to step down and walk and had to be absent from the school. One fine evening, we caught hold of the contractor who did the job and promised to remove the dug up sand. He vanished. Can the Civic authorities or Metro water authorities guide us on 'How to Walk' along the street ?

Action required: Slush/mud to be removed and make the streets worth enough to walk...

R.V. Baskaran

The Hindu has brought out several cases of encroachment on foot paths under the caption 'Right to walk'. Here is a case involving gobbling up of a whole 40 ft road.

After my retirement, I started living in my house built in 1989 inside an approved layout called the A.G.S Colony extension, Beach Layout, Kottivakkam. Mine was the lone house in this location at that time. As time passed, this area got infested with encroachments and the road in front of my house shrunk to less than 20 ft (as per the approved layout sized by Joint Director Town planning the road has to be 40 ft wide). The never cleared tons and tons of garbage piled up and shrunk the road further converted `it to a narrow foot path. The all powerful local Panchayat dominated by the nearby slum was ruling the roost at that time and my voice was never heard.

As the city expanded, the Corporation of Chennai took over the administration of this locality last year and thanks to their effort, the garbage heaps were cleared and the road became motorable but this advantage got nullified by the recent action of Metro Water Department who have recently installed a hand pump occupying a considerable area in the middle of the already shrunken road. This is an addition to a portable water tap a few feet away from the new one which is used for open air bathing, washing, including washing of fish carrying autos, creating pools of stagnant (mosquito breeding water). The old one was provided by the now defunct Panchayat for the benefit of the encroachers. I lodged my protests through registered letters to Commissioner (Chennai Corporation) and the local Assistant Engineer

Pending action on my representation, I approached the Metro Water Assistant Engineer, a young lady having her office in the Corporation office at Kottivakkam, who was totally nonchalant and even refused to see the approved layout blueprint that I carried with me, tempting me to doubt her integrity. To one it appears that she intends to extend the slum with its encroachments into the planned and approved layout of ours, as the already shrunken road is gradually tending to become non-existent.

I have served the Indian Air Force during 1954 to 1969 and have taken part in two major wars (the 1962 Chinese War and the 1965 Pakistan War).

The guns have fallen silent in the front, but for one who is very close to 80 years of age, the war continues, not with external enemies but with an internal enemy in the form of a Metro Water official who is bent on making my life miserable by creating the filthiest surroundings in front of my house by extending the slum into the approved layout.

R. Prabakaran

July 10

Location of the sidewalk: Arcot Road, Near Vadapalani Busstand

Description: A senseless encroachment by two trolley shops, one puncture shop and a Tree temple on a already damaged and dis-continuous sidewalk along the Arcot Road between the busy vadapalani Bus stand and a famous private Hospital. It makes impossible for the pedestrians and the patients to walk along and making them to walk in middle of the busiest road as the pavement is entirely blocked.

Actions Required: I want the concerned officials to remove the encroachment and to help those shopkeepers for a profitable shifting of shops as those are their only mean of life.

Karthik P.S.

In many of the research studies based on the statistics, we see that most of the accidents involve pedestrians and safe continuous walkways are very much needed to cut down the numbers.

During our recent field visit last week, at several locations like T. Nagar, Thiruvotiyur Road and EVR Salai and few other locations our team hardly found any sidewalks, pedestrian facilities. And if there are any, they are encroached upon by vegetable vendors, some construction activities or are in a terrible shape.

In 2012 alone Thiruvattiyur had close to 100 pedestrian crashes, which is a very alarming number and we noticed that there are quite some schools in these areas. Peak hours are even more a nightmare. We noticed so many parents walk along with kids on carriage way which is highly unsafe and many of these corridors don't have a median as well which is making the situation even worse.

I sincerely appreciate your work regarding this, and hope to see some beneficial changes for the pedestrians happening some time soon.

Dr. Naga Swetha Pasupuleti

Location: Nolambur (Near Schram's Academy School)

Description of the Issue: The small stretch of road that leads to the Schram's Academy School at Nolambur is filled with potholes and no tarmac for a larger part of the road. While having a side walk will be boon for the children, am sure any one will accept that having a motorable road is a basic necessity for a place which is frequented by hundreds of Parents and Children to the school. I always wonder when our Civic authorities will learn to prioritize in spending the tax payer's money. While they spend huge money in laying good roads leading to the houses of affluent people which are frequented less (sometimes none) by common public, they overlook the quality of roads leading to such public institutions frequented by many people every day.

Venkataramanaiah R.

Location of the pavement - Peters Road adjacent to Nokia Care, near fly over intersection connecting Peters Road and Conran smith Road.

Description of the issue and action required – There is no defined pedestrian walkway here in Peters Road. Very frequently, storm water drain gets blocked in this stretch and the sludge is dumped outside without removal. Over 5 feet of the actual footpath is occupied for dustbin forcing the pedestrian to walk towards the road. Also, most of the occasion during daytime, cars are parked and forcing the pedestrians to the dangers of bigger vehicles, especially bus.

Action required – Creation of footpath without hindrance from dumping of storm water sludge and parking of cars.

O.M. Murali

July 11

Location: Pavement infront of IMPCOPS office( Between Adayar and Thiruvanmiyur)

Issue: The following pavement infront of IMP COPS Office (located between adayar depot and Thiruvanmiyur Signal) is dumped with waste, sand and metal. It is difficult to use the sidewalk and one is forced to step on to the road. The rain make the scene much worse. Clearing the pavement will be helpful for the people using the sidewalk, as they wont have to step on to the road with a flowing traffic.

Mahesh S.P.

Location - Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar Main Road, Thiruvanmiyur

Description of the issue: It is parallel to the LB Road. So vehicles including lorries carrying construction material, Aavin milk van, CoC compactor, school buses, cars, water-can carriers use this road to beat the signals on LB Road. There are traffic jams every morning and evening. There is a school on this road. Kids need to reach it safely. The only footpath is the storm water drain on one side that doubles as a walkway. The footpath is abused in every possible way. A new storm water drain is being built. The "completed" portions have wires running over them. Autos and cars are parked on the footpath. Construction material is stacked on them.

Barricades which were set up at 1 am to deafening noise for a visit by Jt. Commissioner Mr. Anand Kumar are already missing.

Action required: Stop re-construction of the storm water drain.

Have percolation pits/wells wherever water collects on the road.

Close the pits neatly, lay a neat footpath. Remove the slopes people have built into the road at 45 degree angles. Remove the mud on the road and see that water flows into the pits/wells without obstruction. Tell us whom we should contact when

[a] people park vehicles,

[b] dump stuff on the only footpath we have on this very busy road.

[c] start businesses in this primary residential area.

R. Padmanabhan

This is regarding the incomplete cleaning of rain water drains in our area. This is from Alamelumangapuram colony behind Sai Baba temple, Mylapore. After yesterday's (10th Jul 2013) rains, toady, some people claiming they are from corporation, came to our house and asked for money as they are going to clear the rain water drains. First, we could not ascertain if they are from corporation as our corporation workers do not wear any uniforms nor do they carry any ID cards. Secondly, a person claiming to be their supervisor was rude and said they are not responsible to anyone and we cannot ask them anything.

Next we requested them to carry the mud and slush taken out immediately as leaving it there will serve no purpose as they will again block the drains and in addition to that will come into the house with rain water as the road has been laid without milling and is higher than the house base level. For this, they said they will not do it and we are free to complain wherever we can. I have written this to bring to the notice of the concerned councilor and other corporation officials. This sort of rude behavior is not asked for by the tax paying public for whom the corporation works.

Leaving mud and slush without carrying them for days saying it is wet will only lead to blockages again and diseases in case of sewerage drains.

Dhandapani Alagiri

July 12

Recently, I have come across a very innovative encroachment in TNHB, Velachery.( MIG-Plots Nos:1331,1333, 1336).Pls find the attached photos. I am not sure, if we are using our innovative brains for the development of our country, or for the new invention of products which can help the farmers, but, I am sure, the innovative ideas the Chennaites generate in encroaching roads and public spaces by converting into mini gardens, car parks etc., beyond their compound walls, are unbelievable and mind boggling. It's not the question of space in their plots, they have constructed bungalows till the edge of their plots, that they could not find space to park their cars. Government should not be sleeping on these burning issues, otherwise, it will become common scene after few years.

G.E. Siluvaimani

Jagadambal Street in T Nagar behind Vani Mahal is absolutely waterlogged and the pavement is nonexistent or filled with plants leaving no space for pedestrians to walk. The road has been waterlogged every year for the past 10 years at least, during the rainy season, and only meager attempts have been made to rectify this situation. I had to almost hitch a ride with someone on a car or Bike because there was absolutely NO space to walk. It's about time the Government re-laid this road and made it to a slightly higher level. Not only is it a hindrance for the pedestrians, it's also extremely unhealthy for all the residents around the area.

Juhi Sharma

Location of side walk: Vadapalani-Outside Gulecha towers/Bata Shoe shop.Opp Forum Vijaya Mall

Description of the issue: The footpath is already crooked and irregular. The dustbin nearby usually overflows and the debris spills on to the footpath.The gap between the electric box and the wall provides space for people to relieve themselves publicly. On top of it, such places are corned for banners as seen. The logs have not been removed inconveniencing pedestrians.

Action required: Remove banner logs, re lay footpath and clear debris from behind the electric box.

Lavanya P.

Location: At the entry to Wheatcroft Road, a commonly used and prominent area in Nungambakkam.

Issue: The pavements are nearly nonexistent in this location, and there is a lot of discomfort caused by garbage bins, since people dump the waste everywhere but in the bins - but the clearance of the garbage by the Corporation vehicles is restricted only to the bins. This leaves behind a lot of garbage blowing about in the wind, and into the residential/ commercial buildings abutting this area. We have tried working with the Corporation Officials - but to no use.

Karthik

July 13

The Kalamegam Salai in Mugappair West has two temples and a school and has already been dug up a lot for laying of metro water pipes and drainage pipes. The road is in shambles as can be seen in the picture. There are no pavements on this road at this stretch.

This particular shop is near to a temple and has occupied a good portion of the road itself. Added to it is the problem of vans and other vehicles parked on either side of the road. It is very difficult to even walk on this stretch. We come under Ward No 91 of Chennai Corporation and our councillor is Shri Tamil Sevlan. Our MLA is Sri Bhim Rao, Maduravoyal Constituency.Nothing has been done to remove this shop despite several representations.

S. Balasubramanian

Location: Narasingapuram Street ("Ritchie Street" radio market).

Description of the issue: There is no space for the pedestrians to walk and placement of the garbage bins with uncleared garbage in the road/sidewalk makes walking in this crowded market very difficult.

Action required: Placing the garbage bins at the other end of the street which is a "dead-end", will make life easier for the pedestrians.

G. Vedantham

I have been residing in this flat since 10 years and have been a witness to the cycle garbage shown in the photo,to the right side of the gate, all these years. Nobody knows whose that garbage belongs to. On the left side, there is always a vehicle standing, causing inconveniece to the pedestrian. As there is no platform on this road people find it very difficult to walk. This street is the connecting road to the people coming from kodambakkam,T.Nagar and Mahalingapuram towards Nungambakkam, sterling Road or Chetpet.

The corporation office, the famous tennis ground, a popular school and a preview theatre are all located just at a stone’s throw away from this street. As this street is less busy school children and 2 wheelers take this route to reach their destinations as it is faster.

It becomes more difficult during rainy season, as water stagnates on the road, even if it drizzles for a few minutes. Added to this is the overflowing sewage which constantly overflows on to the road. On the whole it is a nightmare for pedestrians.

I request the concerned authorities to take necessary action for clearing the garbage, laying pavements and ensuring it is not misused and making way for the rain water to drain quickly.

Sangeetha Manivannan

Location: SRP Tools on OMR

Description: Since the Tidal park signal is jammed during peak hours, many two wheelers and autos sneak through the side walk and cross over to Thiruvanmiyur through the wrong side. They cause a lot of danger for the pedestrians and the people on road, in an attempt to save a few minutes.

Action: Ensure two wheelers and autos do not cross to the wrong side at the SRP tools signal.

Vinod

July 14

While it is heartening to see The Hindu take up this cause , it is with equal disappointment I notice that the scenario in north chennai has gone unreported. Walking on pavements is a luxury that despite paying our taxes we cannot afford. Many of us from this part of the city would be glad to be able to just enter our homes unperturbed. Pavements have become slums and hub for anti social elements. It is not uncommon to find drunk men sleeping on the pavements and blocking the entrance to our homes, catcalling and troubling women. The footpath is also a parking spot for all the rikshaw drivers. They eat and defecate right in the same place. Any other space u find is marred by sewage and gutter.

I hope authorities from north chennai take notice of the worsening situation and take steps to remedy the same at the earliest to give us our basic needs of being able to walk on our pavements.

Khuze Siam

Having started the campaign, The Hindu can take the lead in continuing this by means of forming a think tank comprising prominent citizens having knowledge/expertize/business interests in urban infrastructure, from financial institutions, NGOs, academic institutions to

- Assess the kind of organization structure and resources required to manage mega cities like Chennai.

- Assess fund requirement corresponding to basic services like roads, storm water drainage, sewage/solid waste disposal system, water supply, public transport and ways and means of mobilizing the same through innovative ways.

- Engage the government machinery in a constructive manner to facilitate implementation of such plans.

- Deploy monitoring mechanism to track the funds deployment and infrastructure quality zone wise to alert the concerned officials to provide quality services.

I am sure that such long term and sustainable engagement with citizens and government will enable us to build safe and clean cities over period of time.

G. Venkata Prasad

The road leading to St. John’s School. There is heavy rush on the road during school hours. There is no pedestrian’s path, whatever space is there on the road is inundated with police case property, cuttings of shrubs/trees and unauthorised parking of institutional buses and vans. Two cars (case property) have been dumped on the road abutting CPWD Complex compound wall for the past several years. Repeated requests by the residents of the area to remove the cars have fallen on deaf ears. It has become a security threat as well as perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. The dust bins provided by the Corporation of Chennai have been placed almost in the middle of the road. All these obstructions on the road without footpath have become traffic hazard and an eyesore for the commuters and residents of the area.

Ankita Sagar

July 15

Location: Near Vijaynagar bus stand signal, Tambaram Main road

Description of the issue: No pavement and the canal on one side of the road is filled with garbage and sewage water. This canal is encroached by commercial establishments and is used as dumping ground. Rats and mosquitoes are breeding on this and spreading diseases in this area. This gets even worse during rainy season.

Action required: Need to cover the entire canal or should make steps to avoid dumping garbage and others. Need pavement for people to walk on either side of the road.

Soundar

Jeevarathnam Nagar area in Adyar. The precious walking space has been used in the name of beautification by some private houses. Though it looks nice and prevents hawkers from using it, there is hardly any space to walk. Another part is used by road side vendors who get evicted from time to time and again return. 1st street is in tatters after the storm water laying work. Storm water remains as stagnant water inside and is a great breeding ground for mosquitos. This is a great initiative. If citizens join in and help we can prevent our civic fabric from going down the drain.

Satyajit

Location: Ashtalakshmi Nagar, 2nd street, Valasaravakkam (belongs to Maduravayol Panchayat)

Description: There is no road itself to drive or walk in Ashtalakshmi Nagar. It's very difficult for two wheelers, walkers, elderly people and everyone. It's the worst when it rains. One half of the road belongs to Maduravayol and the other to Valasaravakkam. So one half is well laid and is quite high and the other stretch is low so during the rainy season the entire water comes to the houses in the lower section.

Action required: Please lay a proper road so that it’s easier for everyone. Common man pays the tax but there are no benefits from those to the people living in Ashtalakshmi Nagar.

G. Latha

July 16

Kannagi Street, Avvai Nagar located in Choolaimedu is frequently filled with sewage water creating serious health hazards in and around that area. During rainy season, it becomes even worse for the public to use this road especially for the school children since many schools located around. Please save the street and prevent serious health hazards to the residents reside around and to public. Request a permanent solution to this problem.

D.Raja

Location: K.K. Nagar, R.K. Shanmugham Salai and K.M. Nursing Home

Description of the issue: Parking of trucks on the edge of roads. It is very difficult to walk on the footpath as trucks are using the edge of the road as permanent parking place and they should be removed

S. Ramesh Kumar

Location: Velayudham Street and Valluvar Kottam High Road

Description: A commercial establishment has encroached into the pavement besides using it as a storage space for firewood. Cooking, frying and chopping wood - all take place here.

T.Shanmugavel

Location: On Nelson Manickam Road, near Mehta Nagar Bus Stop

Description of issue: The Corporation authorities have put up garbage enclosures in Chennai, which besides taking away pedestrian space, these dumps serve no purpose as waste is dumped all around it. These are maintained so badly and is a sight for sore eyes.

One such garbage dump is seen in front of a clinic on Nelson Manickam Road - an arterial road with banks, passport kendra, IT offices and a polytechnic college. Students, office goers and public walk on this busy traffic-congested road as this garbage enclosure is kept on the footpath. The unbearable stench of rotten waste in the air and stagnated water after rains around it ensures people walk only on the road risking their lives. When will the Corporation wake up to solve public woes?

Cherian Thomas

July 17

A road that's completely inaccessible to walk is the Kasturbai Nagar 3rd Cross. The entire stretch of this road on either side is not meant for the pedestrians. Unfortunately, no matter what we do, unless and until the implementation is not forceful, and the punishment is not severe, we cannot improve on the current status.

Dharmarajan

Location: Fraser Bridge Road, Opp to Hotel Fortel

Description of the issue: Pedestrians unable to walk on the pavement and causing inconvenience to the people who are waiting for the buses.

Action required: Corporation should take immediate action to clear them and ensure the pavement is safer for pedestrians.

Srivatsa Vema

The part of Velachery Main Road is a stretch which lies adjacent to the IIT Gate in Velachery. The condition of the pavement on either side of the road is very poor if at all present. It is especially worse in the direction of Vijaynagar and in many places is absent.

Santanu Ghosh

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