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Rail Nagar’s lifeline damaged
The destruction of this vital link to Poonamalee High Road disrupts daily life in Rail Nagar.
Residents of Padi Kuppam, Rail Nagar have written to the Chief Minister’s special cell, asking for a new bridge to be constructed across the Cooum River on Poonamallee High Road.
The old one gave way when heavy rainfall caused the waters of the river to flow over it for two days, bringing down the parapet first on November 15. Then the New Baby Canal near the bridge, which was being used to discharge the excess water, got submerged.
The damage has brought life in the neighbourhood to a standstill. “This locality has several residential complexes, including Yuga Kalpataru, which has more than 200 flats. The adjacent complex has 150 apartments and the Rail Nagar flat complex about 450, with around 3,400 people living in the three blocks. For the hundreds of families living here this 100-metre bridge was a vital link to Poonamallee High Road,” says A. N. Venkatraman of Yuga Kalpataru Owners’ Welfare Association. It was the shortest route to the Koyambedu wholesale market too. “Now we are forced to take at least a 2-km detour to reach PH Road. People, children included, have to walk at least 3 km to reach the nearest bus stand,” he adds.
The lengthened time taken to travel to and fro due to the bridge being inoperational has hit residents’ daily supplies. “We are unable to get milk and other items on time.”
Most of the apartments get their water supply through Metrowater lorries and these heavy vehicles now have to take longer and more complicated routes to reach our apartment block,” says S. Chandrasekar, a resident. “Also, parents now have to ensure that their kids reach their schools safely as they now have the extra kilometres to walk before getting on to their school vans and buses. Earlier, these vehicles would use the bridge.”
There are also many senior citizens living in the locality and getting an ambulance in case of an emergency will pose a problem. “We have written to every official we could – from the Mayor to the Deputy Mayor and from the Corporation to the CM’s Cell. There has been no response yet. We would like life here to return to normal,” says Venkatraman.
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