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The case of the disappearing footpath

Staff Correspondent
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Pedestrian’s nightmare:Footpaths are encroached upon by vendors and vehicles in the city.—PHOTO: PRAKASH HASSAN
Pedestrian’s nightmare:Footpaths are encroached upon by vendors and vehicles in the city.—PHOTO: PRAKASH HASSAN

As shopkeepers and roadside vendors encroach upon the footpaths in Hassan city, pedestrians are left to wonder about the mysterious case of disappearing footpaths in the name of development. There is no footpath for the benefit of pedestrians. Shop owners and traders have literally converted the footpaths to display their products causing serious inconvenience to the pedestrians.

Elderly people cannot walk on the roads and are never free from worry of being hit by vehicles. All along the Bangalore-Mangalore Road (B.M. Road), which passes through the city, footpaths serve either as parking yards for vehicles or ‘extended business areas’ for shopkeepers.

B.N. Ramaswamy, working president of Udayagiri Extension Residents Welfare Association, says builders have encroached upon these footpaths to construct sumps. “This would not have happened had the urban local body been vigilant. The association has appealed to the Deputy Commissioner, the commissioners of Hassan City Municipal Council and Hassan Urban Development Authority to take necessary action”.

A few shops, marriage halls and business centres located on B.M. Road and MG Road do not offer parking space. Visitors have to park their vehicles on roadsides.

“Till recently pedestrians had a tough time crossing the Shankar Math road. The road became less congested after the police imposed strict restrictions on parking,” Swamy M., a resident of K.R. Puram, said. The district adminstration should ensure that builders do not violate building bylaws”.

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