Lack of illumination on Ennore flyover keeps motorists away after dusk. D. MADHAVAN reports
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The 665-m-long bridge is a lifeline for thousands of motorists from the northern neighbourhood as it connects areas such as Minjur, Athipattu, Ennore, Thiruvellavoyal, Nandiambakkam and Kathivakkam to the main city.
“We got the bridge after years of struggle. It connects interior parts of north Chennai to the main city. The bridge also raises safety concerns. After sunset, there is danger on the bridge,” said S. Arumugam, a resident in Athipattu.
Taking advantage of absence of street lights on the bridge, petty criminals have started operating here after sunset. Police sources say the bridge is surrounded by over a dozen fishing colonies and the community has lost their business after a series of development activities including construction of a rail bridge, a coal conveyor; and now a bridge across the Ennore creek has reduced the flow of water from the sea to the creek.
The flyover was opened by the Chief Minister through video conferencing a month ago.
The loss of livelihood has forced young fishermen to indulge in petty crime including chain snatching, robbery and thefts. On an average, at least three chain snatching incidents are reported every week on the bridge and it happens usually after sunset. “Provision should have been made to install street lights on the bridge while it was constructed. Now, we are blamed for not providing safety for road users,” said a police officer.
Built by the State Highways Department, the bridge connects Ennore on one end and Kuruvimedu, near the North Chennai Thermal Power Station (NTPS), on the other. It is the shortest route to reach the main city including Chennai port reducing the distance by at least 24 km.
Earlier, motorists had to take the Tiruvottiyur-Ponneri-Panchetti (TPP) Road passing through Eranavur, Manali New Town and Napalayam and travel more than 20 km to reach various destinations in Tiruvallur district.
Continuous movement of container lorries would make travelling difficult on this chaotic stretch.