The scene on the road near Jayanagar Telephone Exchange is often chaotic. As schools have reopened, parents dropping their children off are forced to walk on the road - sometimes right in the middle of it, as the roadsides are filled with murky waters due to the rains. Pavements here have been cordoned off or are simply missing.
The sidewalk that runs along the telephone exchange has been encroached. A small temple here juts out onto the road. On the other side, BBMP has cordoned off a stretch of the footpath so that work on clogged drains can ensue.
“BBMP sweepers habitually dump leaves and dust into the openings of the drains here. Due to heavy rains, this practice has caused the drains to be blocked. This, in turn, has led to the roads becoming dirty and getting flooded,” said BBMP work inspector Irison R, who is supervising efforts to clear the drains here.
“Where are the footpaths?” asks Divya Pai, a resident. “If at all you find any, they are used as parking spaces. And Jayanagar is supposed to be one of the most urbanised areas.”
V Gurumurthy, an 86-year-old retired government official, stays clear of footpaths as a habit.
“Even on stretches that are good, there are slabs missing or broken posing a risk to young children and old people like me. I trudge along slowly on the road, standing aside for vehicles and other pedestrians who are in a hurry. I have all the time in the world. My only worry is that I should not slip and break a bone,” he says.
Priya Lokesh, a housewife who lives in the area, says that she has complained to concerned BBMP officials more than once. “They keep saying they’ll set it right. We have just learned to adjust.”
“The temple here is around 300 years old, so the corporation feels that it cannot be demolished. But we are clearing clogged drains on all the roads here. Next, we will also make sure that people stop parking their vehicles on the footpath,” says C K Ramamurthy, councillor of ward 168 under which the area falls.