No place for pedestrians to walk at Velacheri

The encroached pavement at Taramani Main Road.

Chennai:  It seems to move around in Velacheri, a pedestrian needs to face a number of hurdles, including finding a footpath to walk on.
The lack of pavements and the existing ones being encroached upon is a perennial issue in the locality.

S Kumararaja of Annai Indira Nagar Residents Welfare Association, says, ‘there are not many pavements and zebra crossings. For pedestrians it is a challenge to walk on stretches such as Velacheri Bypass Road, Velacheri Main Road and Taramani.

I hope the authorities would build a footpath on the upcoming stormwater drain. Officials should not allow parking on the pavements. Many shops have come up on Taramani Main Road and on Velacheri Bypass Road. The shops have extended on the footpath.’

The walkers path at Taramani Main Road is occupied by street vendors to set up cool drinks outlets, tailoring, ironing shops, to sell vegetables and so on. Children and senior citizens are affected by this, they vie with vehicles on the road.

Kumararaja says, ‘Another inconvenience is that for the past 15 years, labourers of Metrowater station and a few private water suppliers live on the pavements at Taramani and Velacheri. They do not have provision for housing and they come from places such as Thiruvannamalai, Salem and Gingee. Even after the residents raised the issue and got them evicted, they have returned.’

Marimuthu from Spic Nagar says, ‘To reach First Main Road from Velacheri signal is herculean task for pedestrians. Most often, the police do not do anything.’ Near Grand Mall, pedestrians have a hard time crossing the road. The zebra crossing is faded and not visible anymore and vehicles from the bridge come at a high speed.

Despite residents petitioning to authorities no action has been taken. Authorities claim that the footpaths would be laid after the flyover work is completed.

Naomi N