While vendors have even set up chairs for their customers on the footpaths, builders construct apartment complexes till the edge of the road, putting pedestrians through considerable hardship
With well-laid footpaths, spacious roads and lush green trees, Marredpally was a model colony to live in till not long ago.
But today, it presents a sorry picture thanks to the demands of an expanding city and lack of proper enforcement of rules. Pavements have been gobbled up for commercial activities and the roads are but a pale shadow of their past glory, residents rue.
“Just a few years ago this area had a better footpath network and walking through the colony was a pleasure. But the multi-storey apartment complexes are eating away footpaths,” I. Venkat Rao, a resident, said.
Before the advent of apartments, the independent houses used to leave enough space for footpaths. But with the new complexes built on the edge of the road , pedestrians are being put through hardships, he complained.
Commercial activities on the footpaths are another issue.
“Authorities have either permitted vendors to open their shops right on the footpaths or have chosen to ignore them. Some vendors have even set up chairs on the pavements for their customers, leaving no place for pedestrians to walk,” he pointed out.
The situation is similar in most colonies in the city, P. Mohan Reddy, a builder and a resident of Marredpally, averred.
“With paucity of space, builders prefer to utilise every inch of the available land. The built-up area is extended right up to the edge of the road and consequently footpaths are gobbled up for constructing the ramps,” he explained.
For a continuous stretch of the pavement, authorities should ensure building plans make proper provisions for footpaths, he maintained, adding that these should be strictly implemented.
Another trend that is increasingly catching up in the city is to barricade a part of footpath or road and use it to grow plants, Mr. Reddy said.
“In a bid to make their surroundings green, most house owners are planting plants in front of their houses. This practice is perhaps ok in by-lanes where there is not much pedestrian movement. The problem starts when the same activity gets onto the footpaths of the main thoroughfares,” he observes.