T. S. Atul Swaminathan
A bridge constructed at Palavakkam across the Buckingham Canal (South) connecting Kandanchavadi, of late, is causing inconvenience to road users.
Residents of Palavakkam and Kandanchavadi feel that the bridge should be extended to let vehicles cross freely the thoroughfare.
The bridge, used by more than thousands of people including school and college students, daily wage-earners and those working in companies on Rajiv Gandhi Salai, does not have the space to accommodate more than two vehicles at a time.
S. Kannan, a resident of Kottivakkam, said, “Many scooters, vans, share-autos, cyclists, often use the bridge, causing traffic pile-up on the roads adjoining the bridge.”
R. Ramesh, another resident, said that he could not figure out the reason for laying such a narrow bridge despite being used by umpteen number of vehicle users and pedestrians to areas such as Rajiv Gandhi Salai and East Coast Road.
As the arterial roads, East Coast Road and Rajiv Gandhi Salai witness heavy vehicular traffic during rush hours, most people use the bridge connecting OMR and ECR. Half of the road space on the bridge is eaten by two pedestrian footpaths on both sides of the road. It is a common sight to see cyclists carrying their cycles when there is a pile-up caused by vans or cars. Road users are of the view that steps should be taken to widen the roads at Ambedkar Salai, Kandanchavadi, and Maniyammai Street, Palavakkam. Moreover, the roads are full of potholes making commuting difficult. At many places, the road has caved in making it unfit for use; if expanded, it will ease the traffic-pileup. T. Vishwanathan, Councillor, Ward 185, said, “We have submitted a petition to the Chennai Corporation to widen the bridge.. On both Palavakkam and Kandanchavadi, encroachments have shrunk the road space. Work will begin after clearing the encroachments.”