Subways across highways sought

Height problem: A view of the Senthaneerpuram-Sangilandapuram junction along the Tiruchi-Chennai Bypass Road.

Height problem: A view of the Senthaneerpuram-Sangilandapuram junction along the Tiruchi-Chennai Bypass Road.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: M. Moorthy

S. Ganesan

It is a dire necessity at many junctions, say residents

TIRUCHI: Just as the four-lane projects on the Tiruchi-Chennai and Tiruchi-Madurai Highways were progressing at a fast pace, demands for subways across both the stretches from residents in some parts of the city are getting shriller by the day.

The Corporation has already made a request the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to build a subway near the Chettiyapatti Road, on the Tiruchi-Madurai National Highway which is being four-laned now. The decision came in the wake of representations made by residents complaining of the difficulties that they would have to face in crossing as the NHAI has increased the height of the road by about four metres at the point.

There has been a demand for a subway across the new four-lane by-pass road that is being laid between Mannarpuram and Panchapur, to provide direct access to residents in colonies in and around Crawford to K.K. Nagar Road.

The issue turned into an unsavoury controversy after the Defence authorities recently blocked the access points for the residents through their lands. Residents continue to press their demand for a subway across the Defence land.

Residents in Senthaneerpuram and Golden Rock areas are also demanding subways across the Tiruchi-Chennai By-pass road which is being widened now.

The Senthaneerpuram-Sangilandapuram junction immediately after the road overbridge across multiple railway tracks is already an accident prone zone. The Chennai By-Pass road cuts across the two thickly populated residential areas. Though the NHAI has proposed a pedestrian subway, which its officials say would be wide enough to allow two-wheelers and light vehicles, residents demand a subway to provide full vehicular access, including buses.

‘The subway should be designed to accommodate buses and other vehicles so as to reach Senthaneerpuram from Khajapettai/Sangliandapuram areas. Taking a detour via the service roads to cross over the highway will put road users and passengers at a big risk as vehicles tend to speed down the road overbridge close by,” observes M.Sekaran, Convenor, Federation of Service and Consumer Organisations.

“The underground subway should have separate provisions for pedestrians and four-wheelers/heavy vehicles as thousands of residents, especially school students, use it everyday. This is the nearest access route for residents of Senthaneerpuram to reach the City,” points out M. Ramar, a resident.

Similarly, residents of Golden Rock have also been pleading for a subway at G. Corner, the gateway for the Golden Rock Central Railway Workshop, Railway Colony and beyond.

“This is a critical junction. Apart from thousands of residents, materials for the Railway workshop have to be moved across the highway. A subway across the Defence land near Crawford is also a vital requirement,” says Ghouse Baig, Secretary, Consumer Protection Council, Golden Rock Branch.

Railways to consider proposal

Official sources indicated that a proposal for building a subway is likely to be considered provided the Railways provided the required lands. Besides, it would also involve substantial additional cost which would require the NHAI’s approval.

“We are happy that the NHAI is providing wide service lanes on the urban sections of the four-lane highways. But it should also come forward to build subways at critical junctions in the interests of residents,” observes B. Ramachandran, another resident.

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