Vyasarpadi subway crying for attention

CHENNAI, NOV. 1. ``People living in Vyasarpadi area don't get even basic attention,'' laments a tyre mechanic working in a shop near the Vyasarpadi subway on the Calcutta Trunk Road with good reason.

Even after an ordinary spell of rain, the subway gets flooded with nearly waist deep water and the road is in such a bad condition that motorists find mobility a difficult proposition. "Every day, half a dozen two-wheeler riders fall off their vehicles because of the road conditions", a resident said.

"Traffic jams during peak hours in the morning and evening are a daily problem", said another shopkeeper in the area. Situated on an important highway leading to Nellore and Calcutta and the Erukkancheri High Road in Chennai, besides being an alternative route to Perambur and Anna Nagar via Basin Bridge, the narrow subway is congested with heavy vehicle and container traffic.

Pointing out to the worst road conditions on the subway which forces vehicles to climb over rugged terrain, a resident asked if such bad conditions prevailed because it was not a VIP area like the Reserve Bank of India subway near Fort St. George.

When it rains, the waters which collect in the subway bring along with it considerable amount of slush which the wheels of the heavy vehicles spread all over on the road and when the weather is dry the area becomes very dusty, residents said.

Mr. Dilip Kumar Joshi, a resident of Vyasarpadi said that thousands of passengers who have to pass through the subway for Tirupati, Nellore and Calcutta are confronted with a massive traffic jam for at least two hours. Vehicles take a minimum of 45 minutes to cross just half a km.

Ms. Shanthi who commutes to office by bus daily through this route says that to avoid this traffic bottle-neck, vehicles have to take two other routes near the Vyasarpadi Jeeva and Perambur Railway Stations are confronted with the same problem. "Moreover since the railway track over the Vyasarpadi subway is situated at a low height and traffic blockades are caused when big containers pass enroute", she said.

Officials from the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) said there is not a day that passes without traffic jams, as over- loaded lorries get caught in the bridge causing inconvenience to commuters.

An official said that from Erukkancheri High Road to the Grand Northern Trunk the roads were not properly laid after Metrowater pipes were laid and hence vehicles circumvented the loose soil, resulting in breaking of spring. As residents near the subway filled the water-logged areas with gravel and mud, most of the buses passing through the route suffered tyre punctures, he said. With no path for pedestrians in the subway, people have to manoeuvre their way amidst speeding traffic, residents said.

Though residents have become very cynical about governments coming and going without making much of an impact on addressing their civic needs, they hope that at least the newly constituted Corporation Council will look into the problem of the Vyasarpadi subway, lay a proper road and widen it to allow easy movement of traffic.

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