S. Sundar

One among the 35 traffic improvement plans proposed by police A traffic improvement plan proposed by police

MADURAI: The bhoomi puja for the much-awaited pedestrian subway near St. Mary's Church was performed on Monday.

The Rs.45-lakh project is expected to ease peak hour traffic congestion on the East Veli Street-Kuyavarpalayam Road-Panthadi Street junction. It will be a boon for over 14,000 students of nine schools located in a highly congested commercial area.

Going by past experiences where pedestrians avoided subways and pedestrian bridges, the Corporation had sketched a design that will reduce strain on pedestrians to climb up and climb down, the City Engineer, K. Sakthivel, said.

"Instead of digging deeper under the road, we have proposed to reduce the depth of the subway, so that people have to walk down less than five feet. This will be accomplished by raising the height of the road above the subway by about three feet. At the same time, we will also ensure that vehicles did not face any difficulty in climbing up the raised portion of the road as it will be provided with a gradual gradient," he added.

A traffic volume count conducted by the City Traffic Police on this junction revealed that over 3000 persons used it during peak hours, between 9 a.m. and 9.30 a.m. and 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Pedestrians could enter the subway through any of the four entries on all the four corners and get across to any corner of the junction.

This would decongest the three-way traffic flow at the junction.

This project was one of the 35 traffic improvement plans proposed by the City police.

The work, expected to be completed in four months, would start soon after diverting vehicular traffic, the Assistant Engineer, R. Kani, said.

The Mayor, C. Ramachandran, the Commissioner, D.J. Dinakkaren, the Deputy Mayor, S.S. Ghouse Basha, the East Zone Chairman, P.S. Abdul Kader, and the DMK councillor, V.K. Gurusamy, were among those who participated in the bhoomi puja.