Bengaluru: Here footpaths go down the drain

The footpath from Doddabommasandra arch till Chamundeswari Layout is almost non-existent. The surface is uneven, on some stretches it is being used to park vehicles and has OFC cables all over. The pedestrians are forced to walk on the road and risk their lives. Though numerous representations have been made to civic officials, nothing much has been done. They claim they are awaiting the completion of stormwater drain survey.

At times when many are switching to public transport, cycling and walking, the stretch of Doddabommasandra from the arch till Chamundeswari Layout has no proper footpath.

With uneven surface, vehicles parked on some stretches and dangling OFC cables, pedestrians are forced to walk on the road and risk their lives.

Representatives of Citizens Action Forum Welfare Association had on November 9 written a letter to the Joint Commissioner Dr Nagaraj seeking his attention to solve the long pending footpath issue.

During peak hours the people struggle on this road. It gets jam packed during morning and evening. As the footpath is non-existent, the pedestrians use the road. This not only affects traffic movement, but the pedestrians life is also at risk, said Ramesh Babu, a commuter.

A part of the footpath has no slabs at all. It passes over drain and many stones are in poor condition. People who step on it unknowingly, may even fall into the drain, said Shankar, a resident.

The pedestrians also complained of encroachment by hawkers. "Are footpaths built for the sake of pedestrians or to be encroached upon for commercial use? We aren't against the traders. But they have to leave some space for movement of people," Shankar said. He suggested the BBMP should earmark hawking zones to address the issue of encroachment. BBMP officials conduct raids occasionally, but it is soon business as usual for these encroachers.

Q&A: with Dr Nagaraj, BBMP Joint commissioner, Yelahanka  
Are you aware of the broken footpath on Doddabommasandra Main Road?
Yes I am very much aware of the issue. Citizen activists have also written a letter to me highlighting the problem and provided suggestions.
Why isn't any action being taken to set it right?
We have put the footpath and road development under hold as we are waiting for the surveyors from the revenue department to carry out a survey as a storm water drain passes through the road. We have written a letter also on this regard to the Joint Director of Land Records (JDLR) requesting him to depute surveyors. We are expecting them to survey soon so that we can take up development work at the earliest.
Apart from the debilitated footpath citizens also complain on encroachments and the space being used for parking vehicles?
Under the chief engineer regular raids are being carried out to clear footpath encroachments. Routine check are being done. As citizens have complained, we will intensify the drive.

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