After months of searching for an ideal location for setting up a police booth, the Police Department has finally zeroed in on a space under Koyambedu flyover. The move is aimed at bringing the congested Jawaharlal Nehru (J.N) Main Road, especially near Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (CMBT), under better surveillance. This is believed to be the only such facility between Anna Nagar and Vadapalani, a distance of around 4km.
The booth, which is expected to start its operations soon, will be manned by four police personnel with assistance from a regular police-patrol team round-the-clock and controlled by Koyambedu police. It is fitted with CCTV cameras that can cover a distance of about 200 metres. The defunct streetlights under the flyover were replaced with new ones after the new booth was constructed.
Every day, on an average, more than two lakh vehicles including MTC buses and container trucks from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka ply through the stretch. Further, the opening of the Metro Rail services between Anna Nagar and Chennai International Airport also necessitated the need for better surveillance on the stretch. “The new booth will help track the movement of goods-laden lorries from other States and the vehicles between Koyambedu and Anna Nagar. Besides, police personnel at the booth can monitor vehicles heading towards Poonamallee,” says a police personnel.
At present, the ongoing flyover work near CMBT has resulted in traffic congestion round-the-clock. Vehicles from Vadapalani junction take more than half-an-hour to cross Koyambedu junction. During weekends and holidays, the waiting time for vehicles, between CMBT and MMDA junction, is nearly an hour.
The Police Department chose this place because the vacant space under the flyover, with poor illumination, makes it convenient for anti-social elements to loiter there. Petty crimes such as chain- and cellphone snatching near CMBT were reported for the past few months. Miscreants used to take advantage of the space under the flyover as an escape route from CMBT to reach TNSCB quarters in Tirumangalam.