Lukewarm response to T Nagar pedestrian plaza

By G Srinivasan Published on Feb 25, 2017 03:33 PM IST

Chennai: The much-awaited pedestrian plaza for the commercial hub of Pondy Bazaar at Theagaraya Road moved to the second stage today, with the Greater Chennai Corporation conducting another trial run, though the response wasn’t very enthusiastic.

Since yesterday, the stretch from Thanikachalam Street till Prakasam Salai near Panagal Park saw activity as Corporation officials and conservancy staff were at work while additional traffic police personnel were at hand to supervise things.

Traffic except MTC buses and two-wheelers are diverted from Panagal Park side to GN Chetty Road to reach Dr Nair Road and from Teynampet, the vehicles were routed through Thanikachalam Road.

As one walked down the area ear-marked for the facility, lot of children from Corporation schools across the city were seen playing traditional games like pallanguzhi, snake and ladder while a few could be seen drawing and painting.

The civic body is also distributing herbal Vembu Kudineer free to every one at the spot while a medical camp is also being conducted.

A Primary Health Centre staff said, "There was good response for the health camp during the first trial held in November and it is the same now."

As a feature of the project, a number of eco-friendly battery operated cars were put to use on both sides of Theagaraya Road and some elderly persons were seen enjoying a ride to reach the other side.

Speaking about the facility, a Corporation official said, "These cars will be put to regular use in the plaza after implementation of the project. Also, a separate lane for cyclists will be introduced at the plaza just to encourage cycling habit among the people."

However, a section of residents and vendors seem to have a different opinion on the issue.

Sethuraman, a resident of Thanigachalam Street said, "It is a good attempt to decongest the area and they have come out with few facilities like mobile toilets and makeshift seating arrangements in the plaza which will be helpful to people of different ages."

On the other hand, a vendor, said on condition of anonymity, "Our sales has declined since the demonetisation drive and the (Corporation) should hear our views before finalising the project."

Till noon, the response seemed lukewarm with numbers lesser than that seen during the first trial run in November last.