It’s happy news for Ambattur rail commuters

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The Southern Railway’s plan for constructing Limited Use Subway gets green signal from Chennai Corporation. T. Madhavan reports.

Finally, train commuters, residents and traders of Ambattur have something to cheer about. The Chennai Corporation recently gave its nod to the plan of the Southern Railway for constructing a Limited Use Subway at level-crossing 6 at Ambattur railway station.

For long residents and commuters have been pressing the Railway Board to construct a road over-bridge or under-bridge replacing the existing level-crossing near the station.

In the past, a number of fatal accidents have taken place where unwary pedestrians were hit by speeding trains at the level-crossing 6. At present, there is only a foot over-bridge to cross from one side to the other. Though it is a safe passage of pedestrians, motorists risk their lives while using the level-crossing. School students also find it difficult to use the level-crossing during rush hour. “Sometimes, people crawl under the stationary goods train at the level-crossing, skipping the overbridge,” said Palaniyappan, a fruit vendor on Old MTH Road.

T. Gunaseelan, a resident of Varadarajapuram, Ambattur, says that once the subway work is completed the residents of Kallikuppam Road, Venkatapuram, Prithvipakkam and Vijayalakshmipuram will have easy access to the CTH Road. At present, people have to take a detour via CTH Road to reach Canara Bank bus stop. “This would also reduce the traffic congestion near the O.T. bus stand,” he adds.

Traders on either side of the Bazaar Road want the process of constructing the Limited Use Subway to be expedited as they also stand to benefit from it.

Last September, Southern Railway called for tenders to construct a Limited Use Subway with an internal dimension of 8.0 metre x 3.6 metre under the ‘box pushing’ method. The height of the each box would be 2.1 metre. The tender value of Rs. 4.69 crore failed to impress the bidders, as the contractors felt the value was too low for building the facility.

Joseph Samuel, chairman of Ambattur Zone of Chennai Corporation, said: “Now, Railways has revised the tender value to Rs. 6.89 crore. Tenders are likely to be re-floated soon. Chennai Corporation Engineers would coordinate with the Southern Railway engineers for executing the project.”

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