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Encroachments on pavements endanger lives of pedestrians

Staff Reporter
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People are left with no option but to walk on the roads

Endangering lives:Pathways have been encroached upon by two-wheelers, forcing pedestrians to use arterial roads at Four Road Junction in Salem. -PHOTO: E. LAKSHMI NARAYANAN
Endangering lives:Pathways have been encroached upon by two-wheelers, forcing pedestrians to use arterial roads at Four Road Junction in Salem. -PHOTO: E. LAKSHMI NARAYANAN

The city roads are not safe for vehicle users alone, but also for the pedestrians. This is mainly due to the absence of pavements on arterial roads apart from disappearing pavements, non-existence of foot-over-bridges, absence of zebra crossings and pedestrian walks, as well as rash and negligent driving.

Statistics with the city traffic police show that of the 147 fatal accidents on city roads, 64 involved pedestrians and that over 250 pedestrians were injured in 2012.

Accidents takes place mostly on the arterial roads like Omalur Main Road, Sarada College Road, Trichy Main Road, Yercaud Main Road, Meyyanur Road and Attur Road.

Though pavements were present along these roads, encroachments by shopkeepers to display their products and name boards and parking of two wheelers leave little space for pedestrians.

Pedestrians have no other option, but to walk on roads and are in the danger of being run over by vehicles.

Apart from encroachments, damaged footpaths, dumping of debris and heaps of garbage can be seen along the arterial roads in Five Roads Junction.

The situation is worse when footpaths, removed for drainage repairs, were either not properly replaced or found in damaged state.

The city is already struggling to cope with increasing vehicles every day and no scope for expansion of roads.

Resident’s welfare associations and trade bodies wanted the pavements to be free of encroachments, so that pedestrians do not move on roads disrupting traffic or leading to accidents.

They said that the problem is left unattended for many years and wanted the corporation to carry out a special drive to remove encroachments and pave way for a permanent solution.

“Pavements should be only for walking and not for parking or running business. At least, pavements in arterial roads in the city need to be maintained so that pedestrian fatal could be reduced,” said a senior citizen.

The City Municipal Corporation has sent a proposal to the Directorate of Town and Country Planning for constructing 17 foot paths in the city at a cost of Rs. 16.90 crore.

A resolution to this was passed at the council meeting held here on Thursday.

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