CHENNAI: After a string of suicides in the last decade, civic authorities have finally begun work on increasing the height of the parapet walls on either sides of the Kotturpuram Bridge. The work undertaken by the Chennai Corporation at a cost of `1.20 crore is on in full-swing.
The bridge at Kotturpuram had gained notoriety after it topped the chart of suicide hot-spots of Chennai in the last decades. This bridge alone accounted for 20 suicides in the past 10 years, and the frequency went up after the husband of a well-known vocalist committed suicide in December 2012. Just 11 days later, an out-of-job techie jumped into the Adyar River from the same spot; and in the same night, a youth from Velachery attempted suicide, but was saved by passersby. The next day, an auto driver attempted to leap into the river from there in an inebriated condition.
Sneha, a suicide prevention helpline, had made detailed representations to the Corporation, including the figures, pressing officials to take steps including raising the height of the parapet wall. According to the data collected by the organisation around 20 people have committed suicide by jumping into the river from the Kotturpuram bridge in the last decade.
The parapet wall that is under construction now will be two-metres tall, of which bottom half will be made of cement concrete and the rest with metal grills designed in such a way that it cannot be scaled. This barrier, the officials hope, will wash away the taint from the bridge.
However, even as work is underway on this bridge, yet another person committed suicide in a similar fashion — this time from the other suicide bridge in Chennai, Thiru-Vi-Ka Bridge, also known as the Adyar Bridge. On Wednesday, an 86-year-old former staff of Military Engineering Services jumped into the river from the bridge.
According to data available, there were at least six cases of deaths in the last decade from this bridge.