BENGALURU:The TenderSURE (Specifications for Urban Road Extension) pavements along St Mark’s Road provide apalling facilities for the disabled and elderly persons, an access audit by a citizens’ collective has found.
Briefing newspersons on Saturday, Reshma of the ‘Forum for Urban Commons and Governance’ alleged that the pavements do not provide a “barrier-free environment” as originally promised. The guidelines recommended by the United Nations as well as the Central Public Works Department have not been effectively followed in laying the roads, she claimed.
A powerpoint presentation made by Divya Ashwini Kumar listed serious flaws on the road. Steep gradients pose serious risk to the wheelchair user as well as those using crutches and the elderly. “Uneven tapering of the gradient leads to the toppling of the wheelchair,” she said.
UN guidelines mandate the height:length of gradient remain at 1:12, which is not adhered to. Uneven levelling of the pavement ensures the fall of both assisted and unassisted wheelchair users, which applies to visually impaired and seniors too, she added. “An unassisted wheelchair user would not be able to pull himself or herself onto the pavement as it is not tapered,” she pointed out.
Unscientifically constructed inclination planes, too many bollards, metal edges of concrete slabs, thick cable wires left lying on the road, absence of separate parking facility for the disabled, lack of guidance strip at the end of the pavement for the visually impaired are other flaws, she said.
Reshma said, “When pavements and roads are constructed with such humongous costs of public money and claim to meet world class standards, the least they can do is to ensure that facilities promised are fulfilled.”
She also charged that “the work done without consulting the BBMP is another example of use of State funds for projects that favour the corporates.”
TenderSURE roads project aims to upgrade roads in the City’s Central Business District to international standards. Jana Urban Space Foundation (JUSP), an NGO, and the BBMP are carrying out the project jointly.