Footpaths in the city pose an everyday challenge to pedestrians, what with garbage and debris dumped on it, apart from encroachment. However, the travails of pedestrians in Seshadripuram have only doubled. The footpath slabs on Seshadripuram First Main Road have been removed and debris can be seen dumped by the side of the busy road.
The footpath slabs were reportedly removed more than a fortnight ago for drainage repair and replacement of slabs. As a result, the footpath is not usable and pedestrians are left to fight for space with the heavy traffic.
A few vegetable vendors, who used to conduct their business from the footpath earlier, have retained a few slabs. They sit on these in between huge gaps and sell fruits, vegetables and flowers.
“The civic body had taken up repairs earlier as well. We cannot ask them to not take up development work,” said Puttamma, a vegetable vendor who has been vending on this road for the past 20 years.
Pedestrians, however, do not have any alternative. Priyanka J., a student of Seshadripuram Composite Pre-University College nearby, said that they either have to skip over the slabs of what remains as a footpath or walk on the road. Another student Anusha M. said that young school students in the area are in danger of being run over by vehicles. “Most of these school kids walk unsupervised and there is a chance of them falling into the shoulder drain or being run over by the vehicles.”
The poor condition of the footpath has turned out to be a nightmare for the residents of the locality. Hemalatha Vijaykumar, a resident, complained that the traffic police were never around to monitor the vehicular movement, especially in the stretch between Fortis Hospital and Swastik Junction. “As it is, crossing the road is a herculean task. The footpath repairs have compounded our problems, by making it close to impossible to use it.”
However, H.K. Bhat, a pharmacy owner on the same street, was optimistic that the new footpath would be pedestrian friendly. “It has been two weeks since the stone slabs were removed. The new concrete slabs will improve the footpath. This may take time, but we have to grit our teeth and bear with the inconvenience for a few more days.”
When contacted, a Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike official monitoring the work said the drain below the footpath was blocked and causing problems. “When we took up replacement of the footpath slabs, we desilted the shoulder drain first and repaired the parts that required it. We are confident of completing the work within 10 days, given the past pace,” he added.