Meenakshi was forced to use the road as footpaths have been taken over by vendors

At 87, despite her sprightliness around home, Meenakshi rarely steps out to the shop across the road in Sathya Murthy Nagar near Vyasarpadi. One such trip last week however landed her in Government Stanley Medical College Hospital with a fractured arm. She was knocked down by a vehicle while walking on New Magazine Puram Road, an area where footpaths have been taken over by vendors and vehicles.

“I had stepped out from home to buy buttermilk from a shop across the road. As I was walking on the stretch, a motorist knocked me down. The wheel of the vehicle ran over my left hand,” said Meenakshi. Shopkeepers and passers-by took her to the hospital after the accident. “I immediately knew my arm was broken; the pain was very intense,” recalled Meenakshi.

Meenakshi was operated on last week and is still dealing with the frustration of being rendered practically immobile. Her son Lenin and daughter-in-law Lalitha, who stay with her, have also been forced to take leave from work to help her out at the hospital. “She is usually very active. She cooks for us every day, takes care of the children and finishes household chores by the time I return from work in a garments factory. Incidentally, she rarely goes to the shop and it is ironic this had to happen to her. It is very sad to see her hurt and struggle with the pain,” Lalitha said.

Many residents in Sathya Murthy Nagar were exasperated over the fact that while pavements do exist, they are not for pedestrians. Shops including grocery stores, fast food outlets, mobile eateries and automobile shops have extended their business to the footpaths. Traffic is heavy on the stretch throughout the day, residents said.

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