Tiruchi pedestrians seek accessible and well-maintained footpaths

Shopkeepers encroach the footpath on Fort Station Road in Tiruchi.

Shopkeepers encroach the footpath on Fort Station Road in Tiruchi. | Photo Credit: M SRINATH

Road safety is a major concern for pedestrians across various localities in Tiruchi. While footpaths are yet to be constructed in certain areas, residents complain that many existing ones are either inaccessible or ill-maintained.

In Chinthamani Bazaar, near the highly congested Chathiram Bus Stand, most pedestrians walk on busy roads despite there being a footpath. “It’s a hassle to merely reach the footpath with all these two-wheelers parked by it. It is also a bit high to climb on, which is even more difficult with garbage and debris lying near it. So, it seems safer to walk on the road itself when in a hurry,” says Ganga, a pedestrian.

Many small-scale vendors and hawkers set up shops on these footpaths daily, while bigger stores have either extended into the walkways or placed banners on them. “There is practically no road safety for pedestrians. The extended shops and banners completely block the way,” says Usha, who regularly walks through the area.

“Almost everybody keeps their banners on the sidewalks, so do I. Nobody has complained about it,” says a shop owner.

In stretches of Senthaneerpuram and Thillai Nagar, footpaths are built over drainage lines. “The sidewalks are broken, and have patches exposing open drains and garbage. They are unsafe to walk on,” says Uma Devi, a resident of Thilai Nagar.

“Due to poor workmanship, footpaths end up damaged within a short period of time. Moreover, the Corporation should deal with an iron hand and remove vendors who set up shops on sidewalks with help of the police,” says C. Balasubramanian, secretary of Selva Nagar Welfare Association.

Stating that a long term solution needs to be found, Corporation Commissioner R.Vaithinathan observed that enforcement of regulations is a day-to-day endeavour.

He promised action against shops encroaching upon footpaths and two wheelers being parked over them in coordination with the police.

Jyotsna B Iyer

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2022 8:16:49 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/pedestrians-seek-accessible-and-well-maintained-footpaths/article65533426.ece