Thiruvengada Nagar residents see a long-pending demand take shape

Thiruvengada Nagar residents are seeing a long-pending demand take shape now. Coming up along the rail line on South End Road, the barrier is expected to check trespassers

A new wall is coming up along the rail line on South End Road, Thiruvengada Nagar in Ambattur, thanks to the suspension of suburban trains due to lockdown.

Southern Railway has made use of the period to construct the side-wall that residents have been demanding for a long time to check accidents on the track, especially involving cattle.

Recently, workers with the Southern Railway were seen raising the steel beams for the construction of concrete pillars. As per estimates, the side wall will be constructed along the entire 800-metre-long South End Road and it would be around six feet high, and raised concrete platform that would be two-feet from the ground.

The work is expected to be completed in a month. “For many years, we have been asking that the passage along the track be closed because it will prevent trespassing which has caused many accidents,” says S. Suresh, secretary, Thiruvengada Nagar Residents Welfare Association in Ambattur.

The open passage along the track on the South End Road has been a sore point with residents, as it makes it easy for anti-socials and stray animals to cross over, via the tracks. Cattle rearing is common in some of these areas, and many bovines are allowed to grazing along the track and open areas in Ambattur.

The open passage has been a getaway space for miscreants and petty criminals, as they use it as an exit route after committing a crime.

A similar wall

Prior to the complete lockdown in March, Southern Railway constructed a similar side wall on the narrow rail over bridge (ROB) in Ambattur Old Town (OT) on Chennai – Tiruvallur High (CTH) Road, maintained by the State Highways Department, to prevent motorists from slipping on the sandy pathway along the carriageway and falling on the railway track below the flyover.

Built in the early 1970s, the bridge is around 100 metres long and 30 feet wide and can allow two buses to travel simultaneously. Despite vehicular traffic being on the rise, the bridge has remained an significant part of a route for thousands of motorists from western and north western parts on their way to the central parts of the city.

An active citizens’ group

Divided into 138 plots, Thiruvengada Nagar is a small locality consisting of 10 streets and two main roads. Most of the residents are employed in government sectors and industrial units at Pattaravakkam, Athipet and Ambattur. The neighbourhood is located between Ambattur and Korattur lakes on an elevated landscape.

In the early 1980s, residents would patrol the streets at night when the locality had been newly created from the Villivakkam block in Tiruvallur district. With a small team of four residents, mostly young men, they would patrol the locality between 10 p.m and 6 a.m then.

During emergencies and natural disasters, especially the 2015 floods, many residents from the neighbourhood have volunteered for relief work elsewhere in Chennai.

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