On the stretch of Gandhi-Irwin Road, in front of the Egmore Railway Station, pedestrians get a raw deal.
Considerable space is taken up by MTC buses, which in fact enjoy a separate lane, private vehicles and a public toilet.
The steel barricades placed by the police at the entrance of the station, earmark a good portion of the stretch for vehicular use. The footpath is shared by homeless families and shops.
Further, as the 60-feet road winds away towards the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority complex, the footpath is occupied by homeless people, who live in tents.
On the opposite side of the railway station, vehicles can be seen parked on the pavement and a portion of the road. Shop keepers and the staff at hotels guide their customers to park their vehicles, mainly motorcycles, on the pavement. This advice is offered to prevent the traffic police from picking up vehicles for being parked in a ‘no parking’ zone .
“Unlike other stretches in Egmore, including the Police Commissioner Road, and Gandhi – Irwin Road, are two ways. But, what is the use as most of the space is encroached upon?” said K. Stalin, a resident of Chetpet. As it hugs the railway station and is a halting point for omni buses, Gandhi–Irwin Road is an extremely busy stretch. After Chennai Central on the Poonamallee High (PH) Road, Gandhi-Irwin Road has the highest number of tours and travel offices .
“Though we have a branch office at Koyambedu for omni buses, we still continue to run our main office from Egmore as we started our business here 40 years ago. The traffic and other bottlenecks on the stretch should be removed,” said Sheikh Mohammad, a tour operator in Egmore. Corporation officials said that much of the space along the railway station belonged to the railway . “The stretch has little scope for expansion as land is not available. The only solution is to regulate traffic rules and prevent illegal parking in no parking zones,” said a Corporation official.