Chromepet is a suburb in Chennai and also home to Madras Institute of Technology (MIT). MIT is also the campus the former President of India, A.P.J Abdul Kalam went to. I visited Chromepet recently and had to use the railway crossing near Saravana Stores on Saturday, June 3, 2022. It was around noon IST, and there was heavy traffic congestion. Traffic is nothing new to Chennai, and most of the folks who live in the city are used to it.
As a kid, I loved watching trains pass by, and it used to be a lot of fun. A bunch of kids get together and also make a train chain, and we play games. However, waiting at the railway gate crossing and watching trains pass by this time was no fun.
What is the problem?
We waited almost half an hour, and the railway gate would not open for us to drive by. This is not the first time this is happening. Every time we travel to this side of the city, we encounter the same problem. This time it was even more difficult because we had to wait almost 30 minutes. During this wait, some folks on their two-wheelers lost their patience and crossed the railway gate when it was closed. There was also an ambulance that was trying to get to the other side of the road, but it could not because of the traffic congestion.
What should be done to fix this?
- A bridge should be built so that people do not have to wait to cross the road. This way, we can also avoid people crossing the rail track, which is dangerous.
2. Traffic rules can and should be brought in place. We could fully eliminate traffic if other available roadways could be utilized in some way. Keep the railway gate closed all the time, so no one needs to cross it.
The local legislator’s office is just a couple of blocks away from the railway gate crossing. It is not difficult to understand the problem. Walk to Saravana Stores, spend an hour and watch traffic. You will see people cross railway tracks when lights are red, the wait time, congestion, and more will be clearly visible. Fixing this traffic congestion will bring a lot of relief to commuters in the area and also to residents of the neighborhood.
We deserve better infrastructure, and fixing this problem for good will be a great step forward.
Thank you for reading.