Subways with escalators at three prime spots

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Chennaiites are all set to get three new pedestrian subways with escalators, a first-of-its-kind in the city.

The subways would come up at CMBT on Jawaharlal Nehru Salai and Little Mount (near AG church) and MKN road junction along Anna Salai.

According to sources in the highways department, the tenders received for appointing a consultant for preparing detailed project report (DPR) are under scrutiny. “A Bengaluru-based consultant is tipped to be appointed as a consultant,” sources said.

The official said that the consultant should submit the DPR within five months from the day of its appointment. “After the scrutiny of DPR, a tender will be called for appointing a contractor to take up the construction work,” the official said.

The subways would be built at an estimated cost of Rs 3.5 crore each.

“Usually subways become deserted during night. Hence we are planning to build the subways with space for setting up of shops so that women will feel more secure and there will be more patronage,” the official said.

Thought the highways department had mooted the proposal to build pedestrian subways with escalators at seven places on Jawaharlal Nehru High Road and six each on Anna Salai and EVR Periyar Salai many years back, none of the project was taken up due to problems in alignment of metro rail project.

“All the other projects will be taken up in a phased manners in the coming years,” he added.
V. Gopalakrishnan, a city based activist, said that though the movement of traffic is very high on Jawaharlal Nehru Salai, the 25 km-long highway, does not even have single pedestrian subway or foot overbridge.

“It is not enough to build only one subway at CMBT. The highways department should take steps construct subways near Ashok Pillar,” he demanded.

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