BENGALURU: Pedestrians will continue to risk life and limb at the city’s busy junctions as no contractors are coming forward to build skywalks.
After a feasibility study in 2012, the BBMP announced plans for 100 skywalks across the city. Of them, 30 were built and are in use.
On April 15, the BBMP called for tenders to build 56 more. The bidders were to design, build, finance, operate and transfer the skywalks with a concessionaire period of 20 years. The model is called DBFOT in official parlance.
The locations included the Cantonment Railway Station (car park to station), ISKON temple, Rajajinagar, and Satellite Bus Stand, Mysore Road (bus stand to Ramani Timber Mark). “This is the seventh call. No one is responding. One reason is that the bidder has to take care of everything. Though we allow them to put up hoardings for 20 years, their returns are delayed,” a senior BBMP official said.
Another hurdle contractors fear is citizens and companies approaching the courts. “For instance, for a project near the Inner Ring Road in Domlur, a real estate group has got a stay. Though the work is approved, we cannot take it up,” the official said. Many influential people, including politicians, don’t want skywalks near their properties.
BBMP administrator T M Vijay Bhaskar said he would call a meeting soon. “We will ask why no one is coming forward. If required, we will make changes in the tender terms,” he said.
The BDA is also talking of 24 skywalks on the Outer Ring Road under the public-private partnership model. It had called for tenders in February, but found no takers. BDA commissioner Sham Bhat and chief engineer P N Nayak were not available for comment.
Red tape at Esteem Mall: It is close to three months since a horrific accident near Esteem Mall claimed two lives, including that of a college student. The authorities had promised a skywalk right away, but no progress is evident on the ground.
“Columbia Asia Hospital has come forward to build the skywalk, but the road belongs to the National Highway Authority of India. They are in the process of widening the road, and we are waiting for their approval,” a BBMP official said.