Wednesday evening saw T Nagar’s Pondy Bazaar and Bashyam Road turn festive with fairy lights, music and general festivities. Buildings and trees glowed with lights and pedestrians walked across the swanky new pavements, even as music boomed across the streets.
The city’s first pedestrian plaza was inaugurated at the junction between Pondy Bazaar and Bashyam Road in T Nagar on Wednesday. The much awaited project was inaugurated by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami at 6 pm, when he rang a bell at the junction where the pedestrian plaza was constructed. Chennai will soon see similar plazas at Annanagar, Thiruvanmiyur, Velachery and George Town.
According to reports, the construction of the pedestrian plaza began in 2018 at a cost of Rs 39.86 crore and the smart pavement were built for Rs 19.11 crore. The plaza will serve as a major cultural hub for both adults and children with music, dance and other activities to be hosted here.
Smart pavements are those with benches, bollards at strategic locations to stop two wheelers from using ramps and pavements and ramps for physically challenged persons. The Chennai Corporation has built ‘zero’ obstruction pavements for pedestrians, and CCTV cameras are being set up near the footpaths as well.
While certain stretches of T Nagar have undergone a facelift with murals painted near the divisional unit of the Chennai Metro water, smart bikes have been set up near Panagal Park. However, the plaza is said to have caused major parking woes as shoppers have left their cars nearby despite it being a no parking zone. While parking has now been pushed to the side roads, CCTV cameras will continuously monitor and remove illegally parked vehicles.
The police have listed traffic diversions to be implemented from Thursday. Vehicles proceeding on Thyagaraya Road from Anna Salai will be diverted at Thanikachalam Road junction. The vehicles from Anna Salai to Panagal Park will have to take a left at the same junction and reach Panagal Park via Venkatanarayana Road.
The inaugural event was attended by Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar, Municipal Administration Minister SP Velumani, Corporation commissioner G Prakash and principal secretary to Government, Harmander Singh.
The project was conceived to enhance the shopping experience offered by Pondy Bazaar, which is a major shopping attraction in Chennai. With the construction of the new plaza, the number of shoppers expected to visit T Nagar is set to increase significantly.
Here are pictures of the swanky new plaza:
Courtesy: Twitter/Chennai Vision
Courtesy: Twitter/Salil Jose
Source: The News Minute