The pedestrians on Vepery Main Road are facing an uphill task while walking on the road as the encroachers squat on the platform.
Apart from shops, roadside dwellers had made the platforms their home. Although the road houses schools, colleges and Periamet Mosque, the civic officials are yet to take a permanent action to remove the encroachments and free the platforms for the pedestrians.
“While the shop owners encroach the platform at many spots, the EB boxes, transformer and garbage bins are also kept in a way that hinders the pedestrians. Due to this, pedestrians are forced to walk on the roads. Some shops use the platforms as parking space,” M Nithya, a pedestrian said.
Apart from failing to remove the structures of EB and Chennai Corporation, piles of garbage dumped near transformer and garbage bins add to the pedestrian rile. “Roadside dwellers are cooking and sleeping on the platform. We have to walk on the road risking our lives and that of the motorists’. We could not ask roadside dwellers and shop owners to clear the platform. But the officials have the authority. They should at least take steps to remove encroachments by shop owners,” Nithya said.
A resident of Vepery, on the condition of anonymity, said that the civic body should move the garbage bins to the interior roads so that pedestrians could walk freely. “If the bins are moved, it will also assist in the free flow of vehicular traffic. But the officials remain hesitant in moving the bins away from the main road because compactor lorries could not enter the streets. The Corporation should procure small sized lorries,” the resident added.
When contacted a Chennai Corporation official, he said that the encroachments are being removed periodically during special drives. “We will take steps to remove those encroachments and clean the space around the garbage bins frequently,” the official said.