HC summons official over Thirumangalam crossing

The Madras High Court on Wednesday summoned the divisional engineer, Highways Department, to ask why a pedestrian crossing could not be created near Kendriya Vidyalaya, Anna Nagar West, in Thirumangalam, until the construction of a foot overbridge (FOB) across the Grand Northern Trunk Road.

Justices S. Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad directed the officer to be present in the court on Thursday. The judges were irked over the submission of the officer that it would take 12 months to construct the overbridge and that it was not advisable to have pedestrian crossing at a place where vehicles descend from a bridge.

The senior judge in the Bench asked how there was a pedestrian crossing near the Government Children’s Hospital in Egmore, despite vehicles descending there from a bridge.

Earlier in the day, the chief engineer (Highways) metro filed a note in the court reducing the proposed construction period for the bridge from 18 to 12 months. Though the judges wanted it to be constructed quicker than that, she told the court that it would not be possible because of the need to follow departmental procedures in obtaining clearances.

She said administrative sanction had already been granted for construction of the FOB, with escalator facility, at a cost of ₹10.3 lakh. The first stage of preparation of a detailed project report had also been completed and now the Highways Department had to undertake consultations with the CMRL, since phase II of the Metro had been planned there, she added.

The note was filed in response to a PIL petition preferred by advocate E. Ranganayaki of Chennai. She highlighted the risk to schoolchildren who crossed the road.

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