Wide footpaths on both sides of the road from the OU police station to the NCC Gate can beat any such stretch in the country. Well-maintained and devoid of illegal occupation, they are a model for any city planner

While the city cries for footpaths, Osmania University is a haven for those who want some decent walking space abutting the road.

Wide footpaths on both sides of the road from the OU police station at one end to the NCC Gate at the other can beat any such stretch in the country. Well maintained and devoid of illegal occupation, they are a model for any city planner.

Teachers recall that the effort was conscious, and that they do not exist just because there is some space available. Since the OU road is also used by the common public and motorists reaching Tarnaka from Koti as well as RTC crossroads, a conscious effort was made to ensure that students had enough walking space.

As hostels and college buildings are close to the OU main road, there was heavy student movement throughout the day and night. Consequently, footpaths became an essential part of traffic planning on the campus.

“They were built in the early eighties when Hashim Ali was Vice-Chancellor. It was also the time when beautification of the campus was being taken up,” recalls Prof. Srinivasa Rao who retired recently.

Since there was no road-widening in the last three decades, the danger of losing the footpath space also did not arise. In fact, some stretches were re-laid with tiles when the varsity got a grant of Rs. 1 crore when it hosted the 85 Indian National Science congress in 1998.

Later, Vice-Chancellors like Suleiman Siddiqui took personal interest to keep them in shape.

“We are lucky to have such footpaths, and the luxury is enjoyed by not only students but also early morning walkers,” says Rudra Reddy, a research scholar.

More In: Hyderabad