CHENNAI: The traffic signal at the main junction opposite the Central Railway Station has been dysfunctional for the past few months and with pedestrians avoiding the subway, traffic police are finding it increasingly difficult to regulate traffic at this crucial intersection where more than 2 lakh people cross daily.
A senior police official from the traffic wing told Express, “The electronic circuit boards (mother boards) were damaged due to the voltage fluctuations and cables were now being replaced. The repair works will be completed at the earliest.” Till it is repaired, however, the junction continues to be highly vulnerable to accidents. “The signal-lights at the billboard and centre of the junction have been blinking for sometime and has been defunct for the past two months,” a police deployed at the signal told Express.
Despite traffic policemen being deployed round the clock, traffic goes out of control during peak hours and in the early morning (around 5 am) after trains from other districts and states arrive.
The problem worsens in the evenings as visibility deteriorates and vehicle and people movement increase manifold. “I am not able to see where the traffic policeman with hundreds of vehicles in front of me,” said Ashok, a commuter.
Thousands of people who cross the junction to reach the Park Town MRTS Station do not use the subway. “I prefer crossing the road rather than using the subway because I am afraid of using the abandoned stretch”, said Kavitha, a college student.
In addition to traffic police finding it difficult to ensure pedestrian safety, two and four-wheelers seldom pay attention to the cops’ hand signals. “The drivers start driving on their own in the absence of a functioning traffic signal with little care for pedestrians,” said another traffic police personnel.
Cops being as busy as they are not in a position to stop violators as traffic flow keeps them completely occupied.