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Skywalks, FOBs still on paper, pedestrians risk lives on roads

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Trichy: Crossing roads, especially the arterial intersections, have become a nightmare for pedestrians during peak hours as the proposals to build foot over bridges or skywalks in two locations in the city by Trichy Corporation a couple of years ago are yet to see light of the day.

According to a data with regional transport office (RTO) here, on average 1,800 new vehicles are hitting the city roads every month. Also the city’s population as of 2017 was estimated at 9.84 lakh, a 9% increase from 2011 census. But, the capacity of the city roads to handle the surging population of people and vehicles continues to be same resulting in frequent traffic jams near the central bus stand, Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital (MGMGH), Melapudur, Thillai Nagar and Mainguard Gate. Sensing the need for a skywalk or FOB, Trichy Corporation in 2016-17 budgets made a proposal to the Commissionerate of Municipal Administration (CMA) to establish two skywalks at an estimated cost of Rs 1.99 crore. Two years on, nothing has happened in bringing the proposal into reality. "Considering the footfall of people accessing the government hospital and the Central bus stand, the civic body should at least try installing skywalks in those locations. The facility is cost-effective and causes minimum disruption to road transport," V B Jeganath, member, Trichy Intra-City Development Endeavours (TIDES) said.

"Escalators should be set up when building skywalks as it would be helpful for aged people and women," S Pushpavanam, secretary, Consumer Protection Council, Tamil Nadu said. Trichy Corporation had been maintaining that skywalk facility near Chathiram bus stand would be established under the Smart Cities Mission. However, it is learnt that no such efforts were taken under Smart Cities Mission. "We doubt the kind of patronage we get for skywalks since we know the state of several such facilities in Chennai and other cities. We have to study on the demand and available space further," an official source with Trichy Corporation said. Residents said that skywalk will become a much needed facility as there is a surge in population in the city over the years.


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