COIMBATORE: The RS Puram Model road which was constructed under the smart city projects by the Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (CCMC) is getting unusable for pedestrians with encroachments by platform shopkeepers and other traders.
The 1.8 km stretch of the Diwan Bahadur (DB) Road at RS Puram was converted into a model road under the Coimbatore Smart City Project at a cost of about Rs 25 crores. Earlier, the pedestrian used to walk on the one-metre-wide stormwater drains’ platform. Later, the pedestrian pathways were extended by 4 metres on both sides of the road. But, some commercial stores have been using the extended pedestrian pathway for unloading goods, displaying their store’s products and as parking spots. Some street vendors also started encroaching on the space and blocking the pathway.
Vivin Saravan, a social activist said, “The whole purpose of extending the pedestrian pathway was to ensure that the people have adequate space to safely negotiate their way through the busy road. But a few individuals have illegally encroached on the pathways. Some even park their two-wheelers on the pathway. The civic body must remove encroachments.” CCMC sources said, allegedly the officials are unable to take action as they are backed by a counsellor from the west zone.
However, CCMC Commissioner M Prathap said, “We will collaborate with the police and conduct a drive to remove all the encroachments from the pedestrian pathways and will impose fines against them. Once the new parking policy is implemented, the road will be decongested and traffic flow will eventually ease.”