THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Soon, pedestrians won’t have to fear for their lives while crossing the busy roads at Pattom and Vazhuthacaud. Foundations stones will be laid on Friday for the two foot overbridges which will be constructed at the two busy city centre to facilitate easier pedestrian crossings. In both the places, the bridges are being established near schools with the largest number of students in the state. At Pattom, the bridge will come near the St Mary’s Higher Secondary School. The second bridge is coming up near the Government Girls’ Higher Secondary School, Cotton Hill.
The foot overbridges are being constructed by Sun Infrastructure Pvt Ltd in association with the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation. Mayor V K Prasanth will lay the foundation stone for the bridges at Cotton Hill at 11.30 am on Friday. “These bridges will be constructed and maintained under the public-private-partnership mode and all the cost incurred will be borne by our company,” officers of Sun Infrastructure said. The bridges are expected to be a boon to the pedestrians, especially the students attending the two schools, once the new academic year opens.
“In fact, the Corporation is planning to construct three foot overbridges in the city. The third one will come up at East Fort, which is another busy location,” Shefeera Beegum S, chairperson, works standing committee, Thiruvananthapuram Corporation, said. Earlier, the city traffic police had installed a special traffic light near the Cotton Hill school which could be operated by pedestrians waiting to cross the road. But this had not proved to be successful. Pattom faces huge traffic snarl ups during peak hours. The East Fort area, on the other hand, has witnessed a number of accidents involving pedestrians which has stepped up the demand for pedestrian-friendly initiatives.
A 15-year-old demand
The demand for foot over bridges to ensure safe pedestrian movement in the state capital is at least 15-years-old. Residents’ associations in the city first submitted a petition seeking the aforementioned facility at least 17 years ago. In the 2009-10 budget, the Corporation had earmarked Rs 1 crore for the construction of overbridges or subways at Medical College Junction, Statue Junction, Cotton Hill Junction and General Hospital Junction. In the 2010-11 budget the promise was repeated with a slight change in the locations - Vazhuthacaud, Sreekaryam, Pattom and Medical College.