A stretch of Medavakkam Main Road linking densely populated areas in the southern suburbs of Chennai is becoming increasingly risky with stray dogs and cattle criss-crossing it in search of food around spots where garbage has been dumped.
S. Ramesh, a resident of Kovilambakkam and fruit juice vendor on Rajaji Salai in West Tambaram, said he fell down from his motorcycle along with a pillion a month ago when they skidded and fell after hitting a dog that darted across the road.
Several motorists, especially cyclists and motorcyclists, face risks while negotiating the stretch of Medavakkam Main Road between Kovilambakkam and Vellakkal, he said. Dumping of garbage is carried out by rural local bodies on the road margins of this road. Further, poultry waste is also dumped on the road sides, bordering Nanmangalam Reserve Forest.
Packs of dogs and herds of cattle rummage through garbage searching for food. The scamper by these animals, especially in the morning rush hour, poses risks to motorists like him, Ramesh pointed. It requires extreme caution to travel past this stretch.
Lighting is absent on this stretch, that is also dotted with potholes after the recent rain. Medavakkam Main Road, that links Velachery Main Road and St. Thomas Mount Railway Station, was widened at a cost of Rs.16 crore.
However, the stretch between Vellakkal and Medavakkam has been left out of the improvement works, making it accident-prone.
Enquiries with government officials at the St. Thomas Mount Panchayat Union that in the absence of compost yards or zero waste centres in both Medavakkam and Kovilambakkam village panchayats or even other rural local bodies around them, garbage continued to be dumped in vacant spots and along highways.
They said garbage was dumped even inside Nanmangalam Reserve Forest land opposite Vijayanagaram and also near Santhoshapuram bus stops.
However, they would initiate steps to prevent dumping of garbage along the road between Vellakkal and Kovilambakkam to ensure safety of motorists.