The State Highways Department has blocked a ‘U’ turn by constructing a foot-high concrete median on Surapet Main Road, at Kalikuppam at Ambattur. This is the latest measure taken by the Department to prevent accidents.
Hundreds of students of a school nearby cross this section of Surapet Main Road to reach the campus, which is located on the sandy pathway around 100 metres from the main road. As the sandy pathway is a few feet below the road level of Surapet Main Road, motorists coming from Puzhal on Surapet Main Road cannot see the students and parents in their two-wheelers. As a result of this, there have been many accidents, during school hours as motorists from Surapet Main Road and the service lane below the Chennai Bypass flyover come at a break-neck speed.
“Earlier, we would take our children in small groups consisting of other students to cross the main road, dodging vehicles that take ‘U’ turn there. It was risky as many motorcyclists do not slow down to allow children to cross the road,” says V. Shanmugam, a resident of Ambattur.
Early this year, a sandy section of Surapet Main Road, between Kallikuppam in Ambattur and Puzhal, was deepened up to two feet on both sides and levelled with blue metal to strengthen the foundation of the stretch as part of widening work.
Encroachments including petty shops and illegal structures were also demolished for the work.
A few Tangedco poles were also relocated to the extreme end of the road.
However, the ‘U’ turns on the widened stretch were not closed, especially at intersections with streets, to allow residents to reach the other side of Surapet Main Road.
As a result, the ‘U’ turn near the school witnessed all motorists taking a turn. Many lorry drivers make use of the ‘U’ turn to reach the many garages on the stretch.
Initially, as a preventive step, a few steel barricades were erected near the school zone. But, that was not of much help.
More than a month ago, speed breakers were constructed on both sides of the main road to prevent rash driving and to allow students to cross the stretch safely. However, accidents were still reported, especially at night.
The stretch also has two pedestrian crossings on both side of the school, at a distance of around 50 metres. One crossing is near the Chennai Bypass flyover, and the other is near a petrol pump.
The small concrete median was built a week ago to prevent motorists from taking ‘U’ turn at the school zone.