Friday, January 28, 2011

Pondicherry: Most people hardly set foot on this walkway

Most people hardly set foot on this walkway

Staff Reporter

Minor accidents are common on the road near bus stand

oto: T. Singaravelou 
 
The overhead walkway near the bus stand lacks patronage.

PUDUCHERRY: The overhead walkway, constructed near the Puducherry bus stand by the Public Works Department for the safety of pedestrians and free flow of traffic on Maraimalai Adigal Salai, remains largely unused. Instead, people prefer to walk through the gaps that dot the median on the busy road, disrupting traffic.

This habit of walking through the medians has also resulted in a number of minor accidents. Also, ambulances carrying patients to the general hospital are forced to slow down as groups of people cross the road continuously at each gap in the median. People also carry bicycles and small mopeds through these small openings.

According to a senior PWD official, previous attempts by the department to close the gaps were in vain as residents near the bus stand staged a road roko. The residents claimed that as the road was too long, they were put under great discomfort in case of an emergency.

"If they block the gaps, we would have to walk at least a km around the median to get to the other end. Just to get around this median, the autos charge Rs. 30," said Palanimanickam, who lives near the bus stand. Police officials on duty near the bus stand said that they constantly tell the pedestrians to use the walkway through announcements on the loud speaker.

"The real problem is that people do not want to walk. As most of the people move towards the bus stand, they try to find shorter routes to get there," said a traffic police constable.

He added that at 10 to 12 minor accidents occur on the stretch every day. "Minor injuries such as bruises are common in this stretch. Usually, the two-wheelers are at high risk as they apply brakes and skid when they try to avoid a person who suddenly crosses the road," the constable said.

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