Lack of proper footpaths leading up to metro stations has led to questions being asked about the efficacy of the metro system in the city.
Is building the metro all that the authorities could have done or did they need to think about the related infrastructure too? The phase 1 of Chennai metro, covering 10 km from Koyambedu to Alandur, may be up and running, and there might be extravagant plans of expansion, but lack of proper footpaths, leading up to the metro stations, has led to several tough questions being asked of the authorities.
Unlike the Delhi metro, which caters to proper pavements at the stations, a lack of footpaths in Chennai has resulted in passengers taking long walks on the dangerous main roads, while entering and leaving the metro stations. What is worse is that there is no proper connectivity by autos and rickshaws at the stations, leaving the commuters with no other option but to walk for long.
Rajshekhar Rao, a local resident, says, “It is imperative for the authorities to look at the mess. It is good that the metro is running. But who will take care of the connectivity at the stations? The authorities need to fix this problem fast.”
Resonating similar thoughts, Ravi Balachandran, a Chennai-based property consultant, adds, “It is the job of the authorities to make sure that when they are deriving a plan as big and important as the metro system, they take into account of all the nitty-gritty that could pop up. In this case, with the major issues with footpaths, they clearly have not done that.”
The problem will have to be looked into detail as there are 34 stations already in operation. While two lines – Green and Blue – are currently in operation, a further five more lines are in the pipeline.
Sanjay Khorana, Senior Vice Predident, Tashee Group, says, “With the advent of new and modern public transport systems, the authorities could rationalise on the suitability of the mode, based on the cost, to benefit analysis, and the growth policies and strategies for the city. Transport is the biggest driver of urban areas. Lack of adequate transport widens the gap between workplace and home. As a result, high vehicular population growth, demand of wider roads and parking space, pollution, accidents, delays, waste of fuel, etc., are some of the challenges that are bound to arise and have to be overcome.”
The authorities in Chennai will be asked more questions, pertaining to the concerned infrastructure as more people in the city become familiar with the metro. It is therefore necessary for them to plan and implement a good public transport system for inter-city and intra-city passenger movement, which would optimise the density and potential users.
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