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Bid to popularise foot overbridges

Staff Reporter
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gathering paceWork on the foot overbridge at TCS junction on Taramani Link Road is underway —Photo: M. Vedhan
gathering paceWork on the foot overbridge at TCS junction on Taramani Link Road is underway —Photo: M. Vedhan

A team of officials from the World Bank on Friday suggested measures to popularise the use of foot overbridges in the city.

Inspecting the construction of new foot overbridges at five locations on Friday, the team of officials asked the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) and the State highways department to ensure uninterrupted power supply to foot overbridges with escalators in the Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA).

The Government of India has received a loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) for the project.

The work on the overbridges is being taken up under the third Tamil Nadu Urban Development Project (TNUDP III) and it is expected to gather momentum shortly.

World Bank officials pointed to the fact that most of the existing foot overbridges were not popular and ‘not put to proper use in Chennai.’

Last year, the State highways department had issued work orders for foot overbridges on Jawaharlal Nehru Salai near SBOA School junction in Anna Nagar, on GST Road near MEPZ; near Government Hospital, Chromepet, and two on Taramani Link Road — one near Perungudi Road junction and the other at TCS junction.

The five foot overbridges are expected to be commissioned by June.

“Work commenced after Deepavali. But it stopped midway. Pedestrians are put to severe hardship because of the delay,” said Mohan, resident of a locality near one of the proposed facilities on Taramani Link Road.

Officials cited the delay in obtaining clearance from the traffic police as reason for the interruption of work. The clearance has now been obtained.

The World Bank had approved changes in the design of the five foot overbridges to incorporate escalators in response to a suggestion from CMDA.

The design of the new facilities has been modified to connect ‘activity centres’ such as bus stops, railway stations and large public spaces.

This is expected to facilitate optimum utilisation of the structures, which will have a flight of stairs, ramps and escalators.

The modifications, at an estimated cost of Rs. 28 crore, will also enable persons with disability to use the facility with ease.

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