Thick undergrowth and snakes taking shelter on the footpath along NH-48 service lane prevent people from using the facility
Using the footpath along the Chennai-Bengaluru Highway’s (NH-48) service lane in Vellore continues to be risky for pedestrians, especially along the area in front of the Sathuvachari police station, as seized and mangled vehicles line the pathway.
Relocation of seized vehicles to a fenced area such as the Superintendent of Police’s (SP) office adjacent to the Collectorate, off the national highway, will not only ensure the safety of the seized vehicles that are court properties, but also ensure a safe space for pedestrians on the service lane, said officials.
At present, service lanes on either sides of the highway are two-way routes, with vehicles, including local buses, lorries, cars and two-wheelers, negotiating the narrow lanes to reach Vellore town via the Green Circle on the Vellore-Katpadi intersection.
The service lane on the highway is the key link, connecting the central parts of the town with the areas on its outskirts like Sathuvachari, Rangapuram, Kagithapattarai and Katpadi. “As the service lane is congested, the footpath is a safe space for pedestrians to get to nearby markets and shops. The dumping of seized vehicles along the footpath terrifies us and prevents us from using the facility, especially during the night, as there is also thick undergrowth around the dumped vehicles,” said S. Parasuraman, a resident.
Pedestrians said the dumping of seized vehicles for long along the footpath had led to thick undergrowth, turning the space into a shelter for snakes and other reptiles. During the night, people, including senior citizens and women, prefer to walk on the risky service lane rather than using the footpath due to fear of snakes. The use of narrow service lanes by motorists and pedestrians has resulted in accidents in the recent months, especially after the easing of lockdown restrictions, the locals said.
Established in June 1991, the Sathuvachari police station is one of the 23 stations in the district, which also has two all-women, four traffic and two excise police stations within its limits. The existing police building was built a decade ago in 2010, with a sanctioned strength of 59 personnel.
Areas like Rangapuram, Sathuvachari, Sampanginallore, A.M. Puram, Perumugai, Puduvasur, Eriyur, Venkatapuram, Pillayarkuppam and Chenganatham come under the limits of the station on the highway. The last inspection of the Sathuvachari police station by the SP was held four years ago, in 2017, whereas the DIG inspected the station a decade and a half ago in 2005, said sources.
During the pandemic last year, each station in the district was managed by a lone personnel, with a box to receive petitions or complaints. The complaints were immediately conveyed to the control room and the official concerned was intimated to initiate action. “Steps will be taken to relocate the seized vehicles at the station soon,” said a senior police officer.