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Footpath repair too slow for pedestrians

Radhika Dixit
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It’s a hazardous trek for schoolchildren in Seshadripuram

ALL DUG UP:A student said they either do a hop-skip-and-jump over the slabs or get down on the road.— PHOTO: K. GOPINATHAN
ALL DUG UP:A student said they either do a hop-skip-and-jump over the slabs or get down on the road.— PHOTO: K. GOPINATHAN

Footpaths in the city pose an everyday challenge to pedestrians, what with garbage and debris dumped on them, not to mention encroachment by vehicles, vendors and shops.

However, the travails of pedestrians in Seshadripuram are in a class by themselves. Take for instance the Seshadripuram First Main Road. The footpath slabs were removed a fortnight back to replace them and to repair the drain. However, now the stretch has become a dump for debris. The footpath has been rendered unusable, pushing pedestrians to battle it out with dense traffic on the busy road.

Making hay

A few vegetable vendors who used to conduct their business on the footpath have astutely ‘retained’ a few slabs. They sit on these in between huge gaps and sell fruits, vegetables and flowers. As one of them, Puttamma, who has been vending here for the past 20 years, put it: “The BBMP has taken up repairs earlier as well. We cannot ask them to not take up development work.”

Obstacle race

Pedestrians, however, are not so charitable. Priyanka J., a student of the Seshadripuram Composite Pre-University College nearby, said they either do a hop-skip-and-jump over the slabs or get down on the road.

Another student, Anusha M., said young students in the area are in danger of being run over by vehicles. “Most of these schoolchildren walk unsupervised and there is a chance of them falling into the shoulder drain or being run over by vehicles.”

Residents here are also losing patience. Hemalatha Vijaykumar complained that the traffic police are never around to monitor vehicle 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 more upbeat saying 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 put up with the inconvenience for a few more days.”

Drain was blocked

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 removed silt from the shoulder drain first and did some repairs. We are confident of completing the work within 10 days,” he added.

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