The footpath on the service lane adjacent to Outer Ring Road in HRBR Layout’s 1st Block has a different story of apathy to tell. Where most footpaths suffer from encroachments, dumping of garbage and poor maintenance, the pavement here has been usurped by a thick overgrowth of grass and wild plants. And although, it affords a pretty sight with its green cover, it can’t be denied that the ‘landscape’ comes at the cost of the pedestrian's rights.
The stretch is important since it has become a connecting road to business centres in Kalyan Nagar and Kammnahalli. With population increasing in the nearby localities, the road is in much use by vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Though being a service road, many vehicles take advantage and tend to speed putting pedestrians at risk.
Julia Rebello, who stays in the nearby locality of Babusapalya, says, “I often take the road to walk to classes I attend in Kalyan Nagar. One has to constantly keep a lookout for cars and bikes that race here, especially in the evening hours. Since I can’t use the footpath I have to be careful about keeping to the edge of the road.”
Julia’s tactic doesn’t always work. Where plants haven’t taken over the footpath, garbage has. In what makes for a case of glaring neglect, part of the footpath, only yards away from the office of the assistant executive engineer, BWSSB, on one end, and a Bangalore One outlet on the other, accommodates an overflowing garbage dump.
The spill raises a stink so bad that an official at the BWSSB office says they have to often resort to shutting all windows simply to be able to get on with their work. Complaints to BBMP haven’t yielded results.
“For months together we are seeing this garbage dump overflow. Sometimes, it gets so bad that it spreads until half the road. With the rains, the stink and the mess worsens. I am surprised that with two government offices so close by the situation remains unchanged. If they can’t get the BBMP to clean up, then who can,” says Sridhar Rao, resident of HRBR 1st block.
The garbage spill forces pedestrians like Julia to walk in the middle of the road, instead of keeping to the safety of the edge.
Councillor A Kodanda Reddy, who looks after Banaswadi ward under which HRBR 1st block falls, was unavailable to for comment.