Despite being a popular spot it does not have FoB or dedicated pedestrian crossing points

It is in the heart of the city. It is also promoted as a major tourist destination, but Tank Bund remains one of the most dangerous spots for the pedestrians in the city. Without facilities like Foot-over-Bridges (FoB) or dedicated pedestrian crossing points, Tank Bund is turning into a virtual death trap for them.

The recent incident, where a family of four people from West Bengal were hit by a speeding RTC bus, highlights the perils that the pedestrians are forced to face on a daily basis. Managing traffic pedestrian problems

The four-lane stretch hosts a slew of events throughout the year, Ganesh idol immersion, Batukamma celebrations and Regatta championships being some of the major events held in a year. Apart from these, Tank Bund also attracts revellers in large numbers everyday particularly early morning and late evening.

Challenging

Despite its popularity, Tank Bund is proving to be a challenge for the traffic managers. Officials argue that constructing a FoB is not a possibility on the bund as it may not bear that burden; also a FoB would prove to be an obstacle for Ganesh idols during the annual immersion procession. But even if such a bridge is planned, there is a need to build at least two of them to be of proper use, a senior police official said.

“There is also a demand for providing road dividers as they will remove the possibility of accidents. But these dividers too will prove to be a problem during Ganesh idol procession,” he maintained. So, is the issue of providing better pedestrian facilities proving to be a gargantuan knot?

Lightweight structure

P. Uday Krishna, who constructed four FoBs in the city, feels that the situation is not that difficult to solve. “We can easily build flexible FoBs on Tank Bund which can be retracted by a push of a button. I submitted a proposal for construction such a light weight structure a year back, but have not received any response from the authorities,” he said. When asked about the issues like providing escalators for elderly people, Mr. Krishna said that provisions for such amenities could be easily made.

On the other hand, some argue that there is no need to build heavy structures to provide pedestrian facilities at Tank Bund. “One of the easiest solutions for the pedestrian safety could be to barricade the entire stretch of footpaths on Tank Bund and provide only two corridors for the pedestrians to cross the road,” a police official observed. By providing Pelican lights, along with zebra crossing and speed breakers, pedestrians could be persuaded to cross the road only in groups and because of this the possibility of accidents could be reduced, he explained.

But will the motorists stop at Pelican lights? “Motorists in the city are not used to following many traffic rules. It is our duty to educate the public and encourage them to follow rules. By providing just two corridors, traffic police could be persuaded to post a policeman at these points,” the police official maintained.

Current Problems

No facilities for pedestrians

No dividers to regulate traffic

Parking facilities provided only on one side of the road forcing motorists to cross the road through heavy traffic

Problems with FOBs

Bund structure cannot support heavy FOBs and amenities like escalators and lifts.

Will obstruct annual Ganesh Idol immersion procession.

An enclosed FOB could turn into a haunt for antisocial elements during evenings and nights.

Could prove to be a security threat if open FOB structures are constructed.

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