Passage in the sky  

Once a city defined by its rich history and architectural marvels, Hyderabad is now emerging as a metropolis that is reinventing itself for the 21st century.
Passage in the sky  

HYDERABAD:  Today roads are like rushing rivers, with traffic and pedestrians swirling like eddies and currents — the skywalks and foot-over bridges are the sturdy way over to allow safe passage above the turbulent flow for a million 

It was the intervening night of April 1-2, 2006. Hyderabad got its first over-road foot overbridge put together in 12 hours at Hyderabad Public School Road in Begumpet. It signalled the beginning of a transformation and was dismantled in 2010 to pave Metro's way. As the number of bridges expanded to an impressive 47, with more proposed skyways on the horizon, they have enabled a seamless flow of pedestrians and cyclists, offering a haven amid the chaos of urban traffic, but not all are used. 

It’s no secret that Hyderabad can never get its fill of foot overbridges there are 47 functional, and now skywalks to come up, many. Not that we want them to be filled with passengers, dogs, beggars, coolies, drunkards, labourers, and tea vendors like at Nampally Railway stations' busy railway crossings, but just enough to satiate walkers' pleas. "It's chaotic, life's always at stake. The walkways are missing at crucial points such as near Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital," says  Dr Venkat Ram Reddy, one of the ophthalmologists at Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital. "Placing foot over bridges in the right places will build trust and help gain better Active Mobility." 

Though each bridge, with its unique character and charm, has come to symbolize the spirit of the neighbourhood it serves, like the modern one at GVK and decorated one at NMDC, while simultaneously contributing to a collective identity that transcends geography, it remains empty or scarcely used, because most still prefer vehicles. "Foot over bridges can become places of reprieve, where one can pause and appreciate the beauty of the city's skyline, or catch a glimpse of a rare sunset.

They can become platforms for artistic expression, as local artists adorn the bridge's surfaces with vibrant murals and thought-provoking installations can be turned into galleries," says Vikas Sharma, Secretary at Hyderabad Walkers Association.

He added, "The growth and proliferation of foot-over bridges in Hyderabad have not gone unnoticed. By providing safe, accessible pedestrian pathways, these bridges have significantly contributed to the city's urban landscape and quality of life, but takers, it still depends on promotion, which the government scarcely does." 

Once a city defined by its rich history and architectural marvels, Hyderabad is now emerging as a metropolis that is reinventing itself for the 21st century. Alongside its centuries-old forts and ornate palaces, a new set of structures is capturing the imagination of its residents: foot over bridges. These seemingly humble pedestrian pathways are playing a pivotal role in shaping Hyderabad's active mobility future, as the city embraces sustainable, people-centred urban planning 

Related Stories

No stories found.

The New Indian Express