Protests lead to suspension of work

BREACH UNPLUGGED: Construction of a barricade to prevent pedestrians from walking across the railway track at Adambakkam was stopped mid-way following protests from residents nearby. Photo: A. Muralitharan.  

K. Manikandan

Breach in wall is used by people including commuters to cross railway track

TAMBARAM: Officials of the Southern Railway had to suspend work on plugging a breach in the compound wall adjacent to the railway track near St. Thomas Mount Railway station, following protests from residents on Thursday.

The breach is a handy short cut for several thousands of pedestrians, including commuters, office-goers and school children to cross the track and reach the other side. Otherwise, they have to take a detour of more than one kilometre.

A level crossing that was used by the people at this place was earlier closed down in connection with the construction of a subway nearby.

The practice is also risky as scores of children from the numerous schools in the vicinity use the short cut. About a year ago, a government engineer was run over by a train while he was walking along the track, residents said.

Since then, railway officials had planned to plug the breach, but kept putting it off following objections by residents. Residents said a foot over bridge should be built along with a compound wall along the entire stretch of the railway track between St. Thomas Mount Railway station and Adambakkam.

Officials installed steel barricades near the tracks on Thursday, but the work was dropped owing to protests.