Raghava M.

Bangalore: Former Lokayukta N. Venkatachala and former Karnataka High Court judge M.F. Saldanha, who have attempted to make a difference to footpaths in their own way rue the agencies are yet to play their part effectively.

Mr. Saldanha, who had passed six judgments on footpaths, had objected to the shrinking sizes of foothpaths without justification.

He says reduction of footpath widths is nothing less than a mischief played on people and later narrow footpath is used as an alibi to cut down trees. His effective intervention had saved an old tree on St. Mark's Road, he pointed out. Crores of rupees are spend on redoing footpaths but he finds that in the name of improving them, their height has been raised to more than 18 inches. Footpaths on Museum Road were an example. This is not "healthy" as it will put the elderly in trouble. In one case, he had fined the BBMP Rs. 30,000 because it had failed to ensure even surface of footpath.

Mr. Venkatachala, who had been championing the cause of footpaths when was holding the post of Lokayukta, points out that the BBMP has allowed footpaths to be de-shaped and misused (for gardening and parking of vehicles) by people residing along them.