Chennai residents want better safety in Vanuvampet

An autorickshaw crawling carefully on Odai Street that is exposed to the waters deep down.

If one wants a similar experience to that of travelling on the hairpin bends of Ooty, they can head to Odai Street in Vanuvampet, Chennai.

No Kidding! Such is the danger posed by the stretch which adjoins the famous Vanuvampet stream.

Residents state countless petitions to the local body to restore the road and for fencing it have fallen on deaf ears. They said it is high time their plea is paid some attention before a mishap happens.

Speaking to News Today, K Sathyaseelan, who resides close to the stretch, said, “Odai Street runs parallel to Inner Ring Road in Vanuvampet starting near St Jude’s Church on Medavakkam Main Road. On one side, the road is in a poor condition, while on the other hand, the street is directly exposed to the stream that flows nearby. Water flows through the canal laid below the surface at a depth of around five feet while the stream itself is around three feet deep. Just imagine what happens if any pedestrian or motorist slips and falls into the stream. Mostly, it will end up in a fatal accident.”

According to Sathyaseelan, the poor condition of the road has forced people to only walk or drive through in panic. “Prevalent muddy spots on the road continue to pose problems for vehicles. Also, at the entrance of the stretch, the road slants on the right side leading directly to the waters. It will be better if the local body constructs at least a metal fence at the edge of the road so that children playing on the road can be safe. Construction of wall should provide a long term solution,” he added.

The resident further complained about the waterbody turning into a waste dumping spot. “It has become a norm for people to throw waste into waterbodies. The Vanuvampet Odai too has not been spared. Litter has been thrown right from the entry point near Medavakkam Main Road. Also, many houses have let sewage into the canal. Due to a lot of silt getting accumulated, the water has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Officials should not only clear the waterbody of garbage,” he emphasised.

S Ben Raja