Unauthorised occupation of public space, be it the footpath, road divider or the road margin space has become a common sight in Tirupati.
Here is a tea kiosk on Karakambadi Road that is well within its boundary but the chairs and tables are spread out on the pavement, obstructing pedestrian movement. Many furniture outlets on Tilak Road and Netaji Road have lined up their product range such as Diwan cots and sofa sets on the pavements. Several hospitals in Reddy & Reddy Colony have installed their generators on public space or in the parking area, restricting the traffic flow.
One can always find two-wheelers or push carts parked in the public space, with neither the civic administrators, nor the traffic policemen taking the lead to punish the erring.
The general indifference of some denizens towards road sense and parking discipline has also added to the problem.
At the APSRTC bus station and railway station areas, most push carts vending hot breakfast are invariably parked on the footpath, hardly providing any space for the walkers. As a result, the pedestrian traffic spills over to the road, which in turn, affects the vehicular movement in the already congested roads.
“Sometimes, political leaders and youth erect huge flex banners for their birthdays, which should be curtailed,” says Pasupuleti Mahesh, a resident of Korlagunta.
While encroachment by private individuals is widely condemned, the same resorted to by government entities is hardly noticed. The transformers installed by the power utilities, the public toilets built, garbage bins erected and the bore wells dug on the road space by the municipal corporation are glaring examples of road space getting shrunken.
“The authorities also tend to turn a blind eye to the scores of flag posts erected by trade unions and unauthorised statues installed by political leaders,” complains N. Lakshman Rao of Bairagipatteda. Several public urinals built on footpaths have the excreta let into the drain.
The average denizen expects the city planners to undo the damage done over the years to set the course for the city to emerge ‘Smart’.