Subways likely to have shops in Chennai

In order to increase the patronage for pedestrian subways, the highways department is contemplating to build shops in its proposed subways at CMBT on Jawaharlal Nehru Salai and Little Mount (near AG church) and MKN road junction along Anna Salai.

Besides a general reluctance to use subways, as it demands extra effort to climb up and down the stairs, the other reasons avoiding it include a feeling of insecurity, faulty location and poor maintenance, a senior highways department official said.

“We are planning to build shops in subways which would ensure that subways do not remain deserted and uninhabited. This will make pedestrians, particularly women and senior citizen, feel safe and prevent the genesis of illegal activities,” the official said.

The official pointed out that a pedestrian subway at Marina beach near Madras University has shops in it.

The idea to build shops in subways was mooted considering the poor patronage of its existing subways and footpaths in the city.

While the state highways department is in charge of 13 subways in the city, the Chennai corporation maintains two subways and four FoBs (foot overbridges) including Saidapet Magistrate court and Nungambakkam.

The patronage is very high for subways at Central and Park station while Wall Tax Road and Tondiarpet subways see less footfalls.

“I prefer walking across the road instead of using the subway during non peak hours. It will be walk in as there will nobody around,” S. Ramya a software profession, said. She added that the presence of shops would make pedestrian subways more safer for women and children.

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