If the statue is removed, motorists on Kamarajar Salai will get more space to take a right turn at the junction

The statue of actor Sivaji Ganesan at the Kamarajar Salai-Radhakrishnan Salai junction obstructed visibility of motorists, the police submitted before the Madras High Court on Tuesday.

In their response to a writ petition before the First Bench comprising Chief Justice R.K. Agrawal and Justice M. Sathyanarayanan, seeking the removal of the statue and a direction to the authorities to install it at an alternative site, the police said the statue was in a square-shaped traffic island.

On this base, stood the eight-feet-tall bronze statue. On the northern side of the statue there was a pedestrian crossing on Kamarajar Salai. There was a stop line for motorists behind the crossing.

Pursuant to a court direction, in an affidavit, the additional deputy commissioner of police, Armed Reserve, who was also assistant commissioner (traffic), Mylapore, in-charge, K. Soundararajan, said because of the statue, visibility of motorists who intended to take a right turn on to Radhakrishnan Salai from Kamarajar Salai was affected.

There was also the possibility of motorists who intended to take a right to Santhome High Road from Radhakrishnan Salai hitting vehicles trying to turn right from Kamarajar Salai.

After 11 p.m., the signal at the junction would function automatically and there would be no traffic police personnel. Because of this, motorists tended to violate the signal.

Because of obstruction of visibility due to the statue, several accidents had taken place at the junction. Last year, there were 12 accidents, including one that was fatal. This year, there had been eight accidents so far.

If the statue was removed, motorists on Kamarajar Salai would get more space to take a right turn at the junction. The statue may be shifted to the Marina beachfront where there were other statues, the police said.

When the matter came up, Nadigar Thilagam Sivaji Samooga Nala Peravai wanted to implead itself opposing the writ petition and sought time. The Bench posted the matter for December 13.

Removal of statue will hurt sentiments: PMK

Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) founder S. Ramadoss on Tuesday said the statue of thespian Sivaji Ganesan should not be removed from the Kamarajar Salai-Radhakrishnan Salai junction.

Referring to the petition filed against the installation of the statue seven years ago, and the Court’s decision to permit the State government to erect it, Dr. Ramadoss said in a statement, even in March this year, the State government had told the Court the statue was not causing any problem to the smooth flow of traffic.

“Now, we are not able to understand the change in the stand of the government. Any attempt to remove the statue will hurt the feeling of people,” he said.

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