Encroachments by commercial establishments irk pedestrians

Commercial establishments encroaching the pavements in Nanganallur.

The neighbourhood has undergone a huge transformation in the past decade and there is no raising brows doubting it.

However, the one affair has been plaguing the area and only a section of residents raise their concern.

Wherever you go, you can spot encroachers comfortably being squatted, running their business in silo.

Little do the residents realise that they are deprived of their right to walk safe without any inconvenience. It is time that people realise that the space meant for them is being encroached. In majority of the key roads, there is a pavement allocated for pedestrians to walk.

In a neighbourhood trail undertaken by this reporter, it is found that several roads in the area are being elbowed in by vendors and restricting straphangers’ movements.

Walk down the Pazhavanthangal Railway Station subway, you would be greeted by women crouched selling fragrant flowers with all smiles. But do not be taken away by them, they, too, are encroachers! For subway is a facility for pedestrians to walk. Walk up, again flower vendors and again encroachers. However, this is not a problem limited only to popular places, but also in the interior streets.

This reporter, in course, walked across Elangovadigal Street in Pazavanthangal, Nanganallur Fourth Main Road, 36th Street in Thillai Ganga Nagar, NSK Road in Vanuvampet and the major observation made was that the sidewalks were occupied by commercial establishments for setting-up shops, political parties and parking space whereby it hampers the pedestrians.

Echoing similar thoughts, Federation of Adambakkam Welfare Associations general secretary, M Saravanan, said, “The places of encroachment are aplenty in the neighbourhood. Take for instance the St Thomas Mount Railway Station, the entrance points are dotted by people selling flowers, fruits and veggies. On top of it is the auto stand located in the stretch beginning from Pazhandiamman temple to St Thomas Mount Railway Station that does not budge to anything. Several representations were made to leaders in the past 15 years and nothing has been so far.”

Another resident from the locality complains of the huge serpent-like encroachments beginning from Thillai Ganga Nagar subway to Vanuvampet. It maybe noted that the encroachments on Medavakkam Main Road was recently cleared which was pending for over a decade and the work to lay sidewalk is under way.

When the paper reached out to corporation official, the source stated that the railway officials are responsible for removal of encroachments. However, as per the laws, the local body is in-charge for clearing them in streets in the vicinity.

Photo: B ANAND

Bhavani Prabhakar