CHENNAI:After mulling over a proposal to set up a pedestrian skywalk near Chennai Central, where thousands cross the busy Poonamallee High Road every day to reach the Park Station and the GH, city planners have decided to go for a subway instead.
“We are now looking at having a subway, since Chennai Metro’s underground stretch is also being planned here,” said senior planner of CMDA’s transport wing K Rajamanickam.
Rough estimates show that a whopping 12,500 persons cross the road in an hour during peak time near Central Station. The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority had earlier planned to have a 1.6 km-long pedestrian skywalk on Poonamallee High Road to help connect pedestrians to more than 10 important points including Chennai Central, Moore Market Complex, Madras Medical College, Southern Railway headquarters and Government General Hospital.
As the city is increasingly getting cluttered due to various infrastructure projects, including ongoing works on Chennai Metro Rail corridors, the effort is to ensure that pedestrians are able to walk without any hassles, Rajamanickam added. The subway would be a boon for hundreds, who get down at Park Station to head to the Madras Medical College.
The proposed subway would have different entry points, where in the commuters would be able to access the metro stations, suburban stations, Chennai Central Station, Moore Market Complex, Madras Medical College, Southern Railway headquarters and the Government General Hospital.
This is likely to be ready in the next couple of years, added Rajamanickam.
The Poonamallee High Road stretch has been too dangerous for pedestrians, who want to cross the road to reach Chennai Central or Government Hospital.
The proposal has already received the nod from Southern Railways.
Among other plans to ensure the safety of the commuters, especially children, there are proposals to have staggered school timings. This would also ease the congestion on the city roads, especially during peak hours, Rajamanickam added.
“There is also a need to have different designated holidays for markets rather than most of them being closed on Sundays. This has been done in New Delhi also,” he said.