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9-year delay in subway irks Chromepet commuters

With no clear way forward, another subway has been planned at the level-crossing opposite to Vaishnava College.

Delay in construction of the Chromepet subway for more than nine years has worsened traffic congestion in the neighbourhood and has made the stretch more prone to trains running over people crossing the tracks.

The state highways department in 2009 announced that a subway connecting east Chromepet with Grand Southern Trunk (GST) road, would be constructed, in association with the Southern Railway, near Radha Nagar.

A total of Rs 14 crore was released towards this facility aimed at helping residents, particularly office-goers and college students, from Radha Nagar, Nemilichery, Barathipuram and Jameen Royapettah.

Railways went ahead with the construction works soon after they received their share of Rs 4 crore. Concrete box culverts were created so that the highways and the state public works department could go ahead with their works.

However, till date no progress has been reported. Consequently, commuters are forced to wait for longer hours at the railway gate connecting the locals with GST Road.

This stretch gets clogged due to traffic congestion during the peak hours. Some impatient commuters sneak through the closed railway gate and trespass on to the tracks.

When questioned about the delay, a senior official from the state highways department said that the project was hit due to land acquisition issues and other government agencies associated with the construction were not ready to hand over the required land citing expansion plans.

“It is practically impossible to construct a vehicle subway with the available land and only a narrow pedestrian subway can be set up,” the official added.  The residents are up in arms against the talk of setting up a pedestrian subway as it would not serve the intended purpose although a more serious concern here is the increase in number of run-over accidents.

With no clear way forward, another subway has been planned at the level-crossing opposite to Vaishnava College. However, it would at least another three to four years for this project to materialise and till then Chromepet residents will have to bear the brunt of traffic jams and fatal accidents on the railway tracks.