ANDHRA PRADESH

Pedestrians left high and dry on city roads

Nightmarish experience: The government has announced a hawker policy to clear footpaths of encroachments but little is being done to enforce it.

Nightmarish experience: The government has announced a hawker policy to clear footpaths of encroachments but little is being done to enforce it.   | Photo Credit: - A file photo

Marri Ramu

Walking on them is not only a frightening experience but a risky proposition

HYDERABAD: Fly-overs are already there, the express highway is nearing completion and Metro Rail is on its way. With so many mega projects in the making, journey on city roads should be an enjoyable experience.

Paradox is the over 400-year-old city does not have enough footpaths for the pedestrians to walk!

A good number of roads don’t have sidewalks, whatever little available space is encroached by hawkers or shops and a miniscule few are left for people. This makes walking on city roads not only a frightening experience but a risky proposition.

Many citizens are caught in accidents as they are forced to walk on the roads due to absence of pavements as ensuring proper passageway to pedestrians has never been a priority for the civic authorities for reasons best known to them. The problem which was earlier confined to the core area has spread to the suburbs thanks to the newly developed colonies on the outskirts.

People living in areas like Petbasheerabad, Kushaiguda, Alwal, Vanasthalipuram and Rajendranagar too are feeling the pinch as rapid commercialisation and increasing number of vehicles are shrinking the available road space.

Absence and encroachment of footpaths is acute in central parts of the city making roads unfriendly for pedestrians and exposing their lives to danger.

Glaring example

In places like Begumbazar, even the roads are illegally occupied! Nothing is more glaring than encroachment of footpath at the Chief Minister’s camp-office-cum-residence on Somajiguda main road.

Officials created a separate lane on Somajiguda main road for vehicles heading to the Chief Minister’s residence.

In the process, they blocked the entire footpath along the camp office building by erecting steel barricade. Pedestrians can use the pavement up to Walden but are forced to walk on the road till they cross the camp office.

“The problem worsens when traffic is jammed and roads are filled with vehicles. Women, children and senior citizens are the worst sufferers,” says housewife Ch. Shailaja. Removal of encroachments on public roads and footpaths is undertaken by the civic administration now and then. “Even that too is done for namesake,” complains private executive Raghu from Musheerabad.

Government had announced hawker policy to clear footpaths of encroachments but little was done to enforce it as only boards have been put up at several places indicating the extent of which hawkers are allowed.

All this makes one thing clear -that pedestrians will have no respite and would be denied of footpaths.

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