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Villagers along Chennai-B’luru NH demand subway or FOB
Citing the risk to their lives that they face every day while crossing the Chennai-Bengaluru National Highway to enter their villages, residents of Baluchetty Chatiram and Thirupukuli are demanding a pedestrian subway or a foot over bridge.
According to local police sources, Thirupukuli junction is one of the most dangerous crossings in the State where 356 persons have died while crossing the highway by foot in the last 10 years. This apart, 960 persons have been maimed after being hit by the vehicles. Sources added that 68 accidents were reported in 2019, in which 21 lives were lost. Even in 2020 when the country was under lockdown, 12 persons died in 38 accidents.
With accidents increasing every day, the local public requested authorities to construct a subway or a foot over the bridge to help them cross the highway safely without fear. “Until now, the request was not fulfilled by the Highways. Now the officials are working to converting the four-lane road into a six-lane. Once the work is completed, the deaths will also increase,” said Jayanth, a resident of Baluchetty Chattiram.
Though the villagers cross the highway at Thirupukuli junction, the Highways officials have started constructing a foot over bridge in Korrankulam village that lies two km away from there. The people here protested by blocking the road several times, but yet the officials have not given a proper response. “Constructing a foot over bridge or a subway in Thirupukuli junction will save many lives,” said another local resident.
When contacted, an official from Kancheepuram district highways department said, “There are plans to construct a foot over bridge in Thirupukuli junction. But since the land for it is yet to be acquired, we have not started construction yet. Revenue officials would soon start the process. Once it is done, we will start our work.”