Over 60 per cent of the roads in the city don’t have footpaths while the remaining 40 have footpaths that are either encroached upon or have a width less than 1.5 metres.
This emerged from a recent study on conditions of footpaths in Bangalore carried out by a Traffic Advisory Committee under M.N. Sreehari, Advisor to Government on Traffic, Transportation and Infrastructure.
“This is not only a blatant violation of the Indian Road Congress (IRC) rules, but also a serious threat to the safety and security of pedestrians,” Mr. Sreehari told The Hindu.
The 300-page study, which has been submitted to the State government, shows that at least one pedestrian is killed every day on an average in Bangalore while many others are injured while either crossing the roads or even walking on footpaths.
“We have brought it to the notice of the government and discussed it in the meetings with the BBMP officials, but no action has been taken,” he said, and accused the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike of doing nothing unless someone files a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking judicial intervention.
The BBMP, responsible for the maintaining the road, is widening the roads to facilitate motorists at the cost of footpaths, which are increasingly becoming narrower, depriving the right of every pedestrian, he said.
The study shows that pedestrians account for 53 per cent of the road accident victims in the city. They also account for another 40 per cent of trauma cases reported in the hospitals across the city.
Prof. Sreehari said that the BBMP’s proposal to construct more skywalks and underpasses, at an estimated cost ranging from Rs. 70 lakh to Rs. 1.25 crore each, will not help pedestrians in anyway as there are no takers for the existing skywalks and underpasses.
“Instead of wasting funds, the BBMP should at least maintain the available footpaths by carrying out regular drives to clear encroachments.”