KOCHI: Expressing concern over the inordinate delay in repairing damaged footpaths in the city, the Kerala High Court on Monday observed that pedestrians struggling to walk on footpaths had become a common sight. The court observed that many roads were dug up immediately after building them, for laying cables and pipelines. “Dancing’ pedestrians have become a common sight on various streets. Similar is the fate of those who try to walk along the broken slabs laid over drains.
While ‘hop-step-and-jump and triple jump’ are easy tasks for sportspersons, it would be a challenge for the elderly who are denied safety on the streets of Kochi,” held the court. A Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Thottathil B Radhakrishnan and Justice Anu Sivaraman also directed the District Collector to convene a meeting of all stakeholders and formulate a programme to carry out repair works on a war-footing. The court also cautioned that it would be forced to constitute a committee consisting of persons who had held top positions in the GCDA, if the authorities failed to come up with a solution. “It is absolutely necessary that potholes on footpaths and roads be repaired on a war-footing,” held the court, and directed the District Collector to address all the issues, including parking of vehicles on walkways, at the meeting.
The Collector has also been asked to file an affidavit on or before July 1. The court passed the order on a petition filed by High ourt lawyer Roshan Jacob Oommen, citing failure of the authorities to cover open drains and to repair potholes on footpaths and roads. The court directed that views of the GCDA, Corporation and PWD be placed on record through the affidavit to be filed by the Collector. The GCDA submitted that work was being carried on the Kaloor- Kadavanthra road, which is under its direct management, to repair the damage caused by cable-lying.