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Two faces to the subway

R. SRIKANTH
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Needs attention: The pedestrian subway at Rajaji Salai near Beach Railway Station presents a pathetic spectacle.
Needs attention: The pedestrian subway at Rajaji Salai near Beach Railway Station presents a pathetic spectacle.

The pedestrian subway located at Poonamallee High Road (near the Park Railway Station) presents a contrasting picture- one side of the subway (near the Victoria Public Hall) looks modern, the other side (near the Park Railway Station) looks dull and dilapidated.

Several pedestrian subways in the city are so poorly maintained that pedestrians prefer to risk crossing the road their lives rather than use the subways.

S. Manivannan, a resident of Kilpauk, said that the main problem in the subways was that they were poorly lit and mostly occupied by hawkers.

He said: “While the subways are occupied by hawkers in summer , during rainy days the subways are flooded with rain water.”

Though the Chennai Corporation, which maintains a few subways, has given a facelift to the pedestrian subways at Tiruvottiyur High Road (near Communicable Diseases Hospital) and at Poonamallee High Road (near Victoria Public Hall), one of the most used subways remains in a pathetic condition.

The pedestrian subway located on Rajaji Salai (near the Beach railway station), is used by thousands of people daily.

It has inadequate lighting, uneven flooring, un-cleared garbage and encroachment by hawkers and vagrants making it hard on the pedestrians. Moreover, the wall of the subway is stained with beetel leaves and pan masala spitting.

Needs a facelift

The pedestrian subway, an important link to the Beach Railway Station for commuters working in the commercial hub of Parry's and which houses a number of public sector banks, government offices, private establishments and the Madras High Court, needs to be given a facelift.

Similarly the condition of 14 pedestrian subways maintained by the State Highways department is no less impressive. Except for the one located on Anna Salai (near Omandurar Estate), thanks to the construction of the new Secretariat at the Omandurar Estate, all the subways are in poor condition.

The Highways Department has given a modern look and improved the lighting for the pedestrian subway near the Omandurar Estate in view of the construction of the new Secretariat.

The last time the Highways department carried out renovation work in the 14 subways was in 2005 at a cost of Rs. 3.5 crore. The image makeover was based on the recommendations of a Singapore-based company about the design of the subways. At that time it was also proposed to install escalators at three subways - the one near Anna statue on Anna Salai; another near the Park suburban railway station on Poonnamallee High Road and the third at Guindy on Anna Salai.

According to the recommendation the supposed design of the subways was to create better access and improved lighting, but these two recommendations remain only on paper.

R. SRIKANTH

The subway on Poonamallee High Road presents a contrasting picture – one side modern and the other dilapidated.

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