The Greater Chennai Corporation has constructed wide pavements along either side of the Anna Nagar First Avenue Main Road for the benefits of pedestrians, but failure to check encroachments has resulted in pedestrians being unable to walk on it.
Unlike other parts of the city, residents of the Anna Nagar First Avenue pointed out that pavements are present – but not usable as footpaths. The existing pedestrian facilities have been taken over by motorists to park vehicles while shops use the space to display their products. Even some ride two-wheelers on pavements to beat traffic jams, unmindful of the risks to pedestrians.
S Soundararajan, a 62-year-old resident, said that vehicles are parked on the pavements, forcing pedestrians to walk on the busy roads. “We have no other option but to walk on the road. It is scary when speedy vehicles pass by. The Corporation constructed the wide foot path for the pedestrians to move easily. But it has become a platform for shops and restaurants to use it as a parking facility,”
Ironically, Chennai Corporation has put up a board saying that the pavement is for pedestrians. But it has turned out to be a two-wheeler parking lot. The stretch between Anna Nagar 4th Avenue junction and Chinthamani Signal are dotted with shops and restaurants encroaching the footpath.
K Shalini, a resident of Anna Nagar East wondered why the corporation officials were not acting against the encroachers of the footpath. “We don’t know how come the corporation officials are unaware of such visible violations,” she said. Besides illegal parking of two-wheelers and cars, she demanded the relocation of the TNEB junction boxes located on the pavements to the road margins.
When asked about the encroachments, a police officer said that they would take action against violators soon.