KOCHI: Several walkways in the city are unkempt and are putting lives of pedestrians at risk.
Damaged slabs, illegally parked cars, advertisement boards make the pathway at General Hospital impossibly crowded. Pedestrians and patients who visit the General Hospital find it difficult to navigate the pathway. According to Varghese, president, All India Blinds Association, the footpaths have not been constructed evenly. In some places, the pathway is high and some it is low. " It is especially difficult for the disabled and visually impaired people to walk on the pavements of Kochi," Varghese adds. " I had brought this issue before several Ministers and municipality leaders, but to no avail," he added.
There are also allegations that most of the pathways which are made of slabs are removed during the cleaning process. But, they are not placed back after cleaning. Also, there are complaints that people are accidently tripping on these broken slabs.
The walkway at Marine Drive, which sees a huge influx of visitors daily, is a picture of neglect. Though a large sum was spend in constructing the walkway which is considered one of the city's best hangouts, authorities have failed to maintain the spot.
Shibu, president of Boat Owners Association, Marine Drive said that the walkway is often littered with waste including paper, plastic covers, bottles. Also, the broken tiles raise a major threat to senior citizens.
The pavement begins from High Court Junction and concludes at Rajendra Maidan.
High Court Junction
Street vendors have monopolised the walkways near the High Court. “ People are finding it difficult to use the footpaths since hawkers have set up their stalls here. These stalls are set up for their livelihood. Hence, it is the responsibility of the local body authorities to rehabilitate them so that they can trade elsewhere," says Antony ,Veteran player.
The pathways at Kaloor, Kacheripady, and Palarivattom are facing the similar situation.“ Pavements are supposed to prove useful for the pedestrians. However, the authorities are taking no measures to ensure that the purpose is served for the citizens,” says Sahal, student.