BANNERGHATTA ROAD: With rampant encroachment of footpaths and no skywalks or underpasses, the 6 km stretch from Jayadeva Hospital to Decathlon on Bannerghatta Road is a nightmare for pedestrians.
In July this year, the High Court had set a three-month deadline for the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to clear footpath encroachments and obstructions, without issuing notices to encroachers. It also directed the civic agency to lay new footpaths where there were none and re-lay the unscientifically laid ones within six months.
City Express visited Bannerghatta Road (Jayadeva Hospital to Decathlon) for a reality check.
The confusion begins from the flyover near the hospital. Two BMTC bus shelters are located bang opposite Gopalan Innovation Mall, but the buses stop haphazardly.
"We have to run to catch our bus. It is dangerous as the road is always busy with hundreds of vehicles passing by. We also can't see the numbers properly as other buses stop in the way and obscure our vision," said Deepa, who works at Jayadeva Hospital. Bus drivers blame it on the narrow road.
Pedestrians are at a disadvantage all along the stretch. With no skywalks or underpasses, pedestrians have to wait and often dart across the road, risking their lives.
"It takes at least 20 minutes to cross this road. Why can't the BBMP or the BDA build an underpass or a skywalk? In other countries, pedestrians are given first priority, but here there is no decent space where we can walk," said Smitha Gowda R, a homemaker.
On a smiliar note, Navya Joshi, a Class 7 student of Achala Vidya Mandir, Hulimavu, said it was scary to cross the road near the Arakere junction. "We wait for our friends or elders with whom we can cross the road. Only if we are in a group do the vehicles pause," she said.
While the footpaths were broader near Shoppers Stop, they have been encroached upon. "The footpath are uneven. It is very difficult for a senior citizen or a physically challenged person to walk here," said Srinivasaiah, a retired bank manager.
The footpath is also used as parking space for vehicles. A large footpath near Dollars Colony on Bannerghatta Road is occupied by various vendors, including one who makes terracotta items.
The road also has many transformers that pose a threat to pedestrians. "The installations do not have safety grills," said Basavaiah, a shopkeeper near Kalena Agrahara. In a stretch of 200 metres opposite the Indian Institute of Management, the road is dotted with at least four transformers.
Footpaths have been dug up to lay pipes near Sreenidhi Auto Service, a petrol bunk. "The least the civic agencies can do is to put up a work-in-process board. This place is posing a threat not just to pedestrians but also to two-wheelers, especially at night," a bunk employee told City Express.
Geetha Vivekananda, chairperson, BBMP Standing Committee for Major Works, said, "There is a proposal to widen Bannerghatta Road and we can make skywalks or underpasses only after that. The BBMP plans to put up 35 skywalks across the city of which four are under construction. We will instal one at Bannerghatta Road."