|The Chennai Corporation plans to improve pedestrian facilities at 60 road junctions in the city.|
The civic body has identified consultants to study the junctions and identify the challenges faced by pedestrians.
“The work is estimated to cost ₹100 crore. Non-motorised transport across the junctions will improve,” said an official.
The Corporation Council approved a non-motorised transport policy in 2014, resolving to promote walking and cycling. The civic body proposed to increase the infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists to at least 40% by 2018. But the initiative failed to take off on many stretches.
“Work on footpaths along 56 stretches has been completed. But the footpaths have to be linked,” said an official of the Corporation. However, residents, former councillors and MLAs have been complaining to civic body officials about the damage caused to stretches and the accidents involving pedestrians along many stretches.
Egmore MLA K.S.Ravichandran met Corporation Commissioner D.Karthikeyan and demanded the removal of encroachments on widened footpaths along many roads in Egmore.
“They are widening footpaths. But officials are permitting encroachments on the widened footpath. There is no use in widening, spending huge sums of money. Many encroachments have been permitted near maternity hospital in Egmore,” said Mr.Ravichandran.
Officials said the civic body would study the risk to pedestrians at junctions by compiling data from various sources.
“The new design will be aimed at reducing the risk of fatalities for the pedestrians and the cyclists,” said an official.
Currently, work is in progress at the Adithanar Salai-Pantheon Road junction.
The consultant will conduct a feasibility study at 60 junctions.
“Junction improvement will be made without acquiring private land,” said an official.
Non-motorised transport infrastructure across the city is expected to help improve last-mile connectivity for Metro Rail, MRTS and bus transit.
A commuter will be able to walk from the Egmore railway station to places of cultural significance in the area. Persons with disability will be able to cross junctions once the pedestrian facilities are ready at the junctions, an official said.