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Sunday, September 1, 2013

bid to thwart suicide - Chennai Corporation plans to raise the parapet walls on bridges


Napier Bridge, Adyar bridge, Hamilton bridge, Maraimalai adigal bridge and more….. Chennai has no great rivers but – still there are many bridges.. and in someways they are infamous too…. Not that they are old, unkempt, writhing under the flow of traffic…

In Dec 2012 at the peak of Carnatic music season tragedy befell on one of the singers – Nithyasree.. in a sad development Mr V Mahadevan, husband of the popular Carnatic vocalist, committed suicide by jumping into the Adyar river from the Kotturpuram bridge- it was mid day and reportedly some people saw the car stop, a man coming out and jumping into the river. Curious onlookers called for help but alas only his body could be fished out  after a 30-minute operation.  Sad that the talented singer at a young age had to face this tragedy.

In fact, Mr Mahadevan is not alone…….. he only joined many others who had leapt from the Chennai bridges ending their lives…

The Hindu reports that in view of drastic rise in suicides by jumping off bridges in 2013, Chennai Corporation has begun increasing the height of parapet walls of theses facilities.  The report states that Chennai Corporation on Monday commenced work on modification of bridges across rivers in the city to prevent suicides. Following request from the police, the corporation has prepared estimates for increasing the height of the parapets of bridges from where a large number of people try to jump into the river.

On Monday, work began on the bridge across Cooum in Chintadripet. According to officials of Chennai Corporation, the height of the parapet of the bridge connecting Pantheon Road and Arunachalam Street will be increased by 3.5 feet. The work will be completed at a cost of Rs. 2 lakh.

Chennai Corporation maintains 262 bridges including 65 high level bridges, 35 foot bridges and 13 grade separators. Bridges in Kotturpuram, Satya Studio, Mandaveli and Srinivasapuram across the Adyar River are where suicides were reported this year. Bridges in Pudupet, Chintadripet, Egmore, Swami Sivananda Salai and Napier Bridge across Cooum River also reported suicides in 2013. The number of suicides has increased from two in 2012 to eight in the four months of 2013. The bridges are on the list of facilities submitted by the police to Chennai Corporation for modification. The bridges department of the corporation assessed the factors that make it easy for people to jump off them and prepared estimates for modification of these structures.

“Two members of a family in Chintadripet committed suicide, jumping from the same bridge across river Cooum. The third member, Ranjith, tried to scale the parapet six months ago. I prevented him from jumping in the river,” said Johnson, a resident of Chintadripet. “The parapet should be high enough to prevent people from scaling it,” he added.

The corporation, however, seems to have discounted aesthetics of the bridges as Chennaiites will lose view of the Cooum and Adyar rivers once the height of the walls is raised. ~ the Hindu concludes.
bridge over coovum - at Chintadripet.

There are some who unfortunately feel that they are the most deprived lot and most stressed and in a moment of fit, they end their lives……… a search on ‘suicide’ threw up - A suicide bomber targeted an election rally organised by a religious party in Pakistan on Monday, killing 25 people, officials said. The attack at a gathering of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam religious party wounded 65 people, they said. – that is different.

Suicide (Latin suicidium, from sui caedere, "to kill oneself") is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair, the cause of which is frequently attributed to a mental disorder such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse. Stress factors such as financial difficulties or troubles with interpersonal relationships often play a role.

If you are in intense emotional and/or physical pain, remember that your judgment is being clouded by that pain. If you are considering suicide, you are trying to end that pain. Please do not confuse ending your pain with ending your life. The two are very different.

Suicide is never a solution; it does appear that mere raising of the height of the bridge – can perhaps stop accidental falls, but never intentional suicide…………..

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
7th May 2013.

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