Andhra Pradesh

Denizens hit the streets as railway gate remains closed for two years

Risking their lives, residents cross the railway tracks  at the Rayala Cheruvu Road railway gate in Tirupati.

Risking their lives, residents cross the railway tracks at the Rayala Cheruvu Road railway gate in Tirupati.

The busy Rayala Cheruvu Road level crossing in the heart of the city has remained closed for nearly two years, cutting off traffic to the southern suburbs and causing inconvenience to people reaching the city from over 30 villages south of Tirupati.

Work on the railway under-bridge was officially started in November 2020 making use of the restrictions in traffic movement induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. The road was closed even before that to facilitate logistics. However, what was announced to be a six-month project dragged on to over 18 months, making the denizens turn impatient, as they have to take a detour of 2 km on either side to reach Annamayya Circle, a busy junction in the city.

Unmindful of the hazards involved, people continue to walk over the railway track and climb over the huge pit dug up for laying the approach roads. “Many have fallen into the pit and sustained injuries, but they are left with no other option”, avers a resident of Kasturba lane abutting the track.

Nethaji Road and Rayala Cheruvu Road are two perpendicular roads that have a large number of wholesale and retail outlets pertaining to the construction industry. When the housing and real estate sectors started showing a semblance of recovery, the closure of this road sounded the death-knell for the trade.

The concrete box coming under the railway track to facilitate light commercial vehicular movement, has finally been executed by the railways, though with some avoidable delay.

The Municipal Corporation of Tirupati (MCT), which has to lay the approach roads on either side, was also burdened with diverting a massive sewer line, which is believed to have caused the huge delay. “Having been closed for two years, the problem has entered the third year, but nobody is bothered to listen to us”, says A. Manjunath, president, Tirupati Chamber of Commerce.

The traders downed their shutters and observed a trade bandh on Friday, protesting against the ‘inordinate delay’. Over a hundred traders and local residents took out a procession and submitted a memorandum to MLA B. Karunakar Reddy, Mayor R. Sireesha and MCT Commissioner Anupama Anjali on Friday and extracted an assurance to get the road opened by July 31.

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Printable version | Aug 16, 2022 11:09:48 pm |