BBMP leaves open ‘stairway to death’ in Malleswaram
By S Lalitha | Express News Service | Published: 09th February 2018 10:26 PM |
BENGALURU: At one end of 13th Cross Road near Malleswaram Market, a steep staircase in stone opens to the shock of bikers who take a turn into it from two adjacent streets. One young woman even suffered serious injuries after tumbling down the flight on her two-wheeler, with no signs to warn her.
There were stone bollards placed here, but they were removed by the city corporation during a work and were never replaced. Another incomplete work, in the same spot, left a drain open into which a senior citizen suffered a fatal fall last year.
The West Park Road and East Park Road are located parallel to each other and converge into the 13th Cross Road via a fleet of steps. One walking from West Park Road can take a slight right bend and head into the staircase while one needs to take a slight left from the East Park Road to touch the stair case.
To ensure that only pedestrians used the staircase, stone bollards were placed at the entrance of the steps for decades but were removed after BBMP began construction work in connection with a Storm Water Drain (SWD) chamber here two years ago.
With no bollards in place, a 23-year-old woman on an Activa with a male friend riding pillion drove straight from West Park onto the stairs mistaking it for a road. There is no demarcation or sign board indicating steps here. “She tumbled down the steps with her vehicle and suffered injuries to her left elbow,” recalls G N Umavathi, an eyewitness who runs her own tailoring shop on 13th Cross.
“There was a big sound that day and all of us came rushing out,” remembers B Veena, a boutique shop owner. “The problem lies with the removal of the huge stones at the entrance of the stairs 2.5 years ago. The stairs were rebuilt but they should not have removed these which blocked the entry of all vehicles,” she points out. There is dim lighting too and one coming at night and not familiar with the area would not be able to know the presence of the steps here, Veena added.
What is causing more agony among residents here is the incomplete SWD structure by BBMP. “An elderly man fell down the drain and was washed away. There were a few barricades put up immediately. Today, the spot is only half covered by barricades. And even they have fallen down and are in a sleeping position,” says localite Major Ramesh.
Rangaraju D H, Assistant Engineer, Storm Water Drain (West), BBMP said, “We planned to close the drain chamber much earlier. However, the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) that is constructing a new vegetable market here wanted to beautify the steps nearby and so we could not go ahead with our completion.”
Assuring the BBMP would take steps to ensure safety of the public, Rangaraju said, “I will visit the spot and direct our local engineers to take emergency measures if required. We will also talk with the BDA about it.”