Chennai Central @The Hindu hosted a Facebook chat on Thursday as a part of The Hindu's campaign for the pedestrian's Right to Walk on our roads.
Gitakrishnan Ramadurai, Assistant Professor, Dept of Civil Engineering, IIT-Madras & Kadambari Badami, Researcher, Transparent Chennai along with our in-house experts answered questions. Around 52,000 people viewed the post on Chennai Central's Facebook page, 116 shared it and the post had 80 comments. Here are some excerpts:
Q- Vijay Sapps: Sadly in India, these media awareness campaigns have initial frenzy impact and then everything fizzles out. What is needed is a partnership between media, civic action groups/colleges and lawyers.
A- Kadambari Badami Vamanan: What you say is right. I do hope you are doing something concrete in this regard. When multiple people work unitedly, we can do wonders.
Q- Kalpana Mohan: How can you expand something when there are so many bottlenecks on the road already?
A- Ananthakrishnan Gopalakrishnan: Since the commuter lanes - which I presume are a reference to car lanes - have eaten into footpaths earlier, it would only be a mere restoration in favour of the majority of users. That is the global pattern.
Q- Raman Guru: Are there any specific standards for a footpath for a given width of a road?
A- Gitakrishnan Ramadurai: @Raman IRC: 103-2012 gives the following numbers: Minimum obstacle free walkway width in residential / mixed use areas is 1.8m. For commercial / mixed use it is 2.5m. For Shopping area / bus stops / high intensity commercial areas it ranges from 3.5 to 4.5 m
Q- Nagesh Marudadu: Please involve apartments associations and form as committees with local counselor, respective corporation JE and the local police inspector.
A- A. Srivathsan: Nothing can be sustained without citizen participation.
Q- Nagesh Marudadu: What about the telephone junction boxes, electrical poles, transformers etc that are planted at the center of every footpath in this city?
A- Gitakrishnan Ramadurai: The footpath has to be clear from any obstructions. Again there are standards for the clearance dimensions from obstacles given in our IRC codes. There has to be a furniture zone between the road and the footpath that houses these street furniture besides trees.
To view the full chat, click http://thne.ws/rtwfb-chat