BENGALURU: The death of a 14-year-old girl on Ballari Road in Hebbal has once again raised questions among citizens and experts, one being that the city roads are designed keeping in mind automobiles, not pedestrians. They also point out that there is no seriousness and accountability among officials to ensure that basic civic amenities are in place and that commoners are not inconvenienced.
Several pedestrians point out that they rush on the roads to cross at grade, since the skywalks and subways are not safe, or have simply failed to serve their purpose. A BBMP engineer admitted that rainwater had indeed gushed into the underpass and there was also seepage due to which it was filled with water.
An expert working with BBMP said: “BBMP officials have stated before the High Court and the government that underground drainage work is being done and silt is being cleared. But it does not look like it is happening. Also, the BBMP has not learnt any lesson and has not done its job to ensure that rainwater harvesting pits below the underpasses are clean, so that there is no water logging.”
According to India Meteorological Department reports, there was no rain at Kempegowda International Airport, however, the rain gauge at Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre recorded 48 mm rainfall at Hebbal. Apart from this, the Directorate of Urban Land Transport along with the traffic police department, is working on a pedestrian safety Bill.
Urbanist and civic evangelist V Ravichandar said people need humanity in the system. “There is no heart, someone has to be accountable. Unless there is a culture of punishment, things will not improve. This incident has once again shown that there is bad implementation of design, improper de-silting of drains and poor quality execution of work,” he added.
Srinivas Alavilli, Head, Civic Participation, Janaagraha said the problem with road design is that they are created only for vehicles. Skylkwalks and underpasses are an attempt to push people off the streets.