COIMBATORE: Pedestrians and social activists have raised concerns over the encroachment of the pedestrian pathways by two-wheeler riders and shop owners on DB Road and TV Samy Road in the RS Puram.
The Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (CCMC) developed the 1.8 km stretch of the Diwan Bahadur (DB) Road at RS Puram and converted it into a model road under the Coimbatore Smart City Project at a cost of about Rs 25 crore. As part of it, the TV Samy Road’s pedestrian pathway was also developed.
Earlier, pedestrians used to walk on the 1-metre-wide stormwater drains’ platform. Later, the pedestrian pathways were extended by 4 metres on both sides of the road under the smart city projects in order to ease pedestrian movement on one of the busy roads of the city. However, a few commercial stores have been using the extended pedestrian pathway for unloading goods, displaying products and as parking spots. Some people have also started using the space for their personal trading. Motorists too have been parking two-wheelers on the pathway.
S Vivin Saravan, a social activist said, “The purpose of extending the pedestrian pathway was to ensure that the people who visit RS Puram have adequate space to safely negotiate their way through the busy road. But that has become a question mark as a few individuals have encroached upon the pathways.”“Instead of relying on law enforcement agencies alone to prevent such activities, people must have social and self-responsibility. The civic body must remove these encroachments and impose hefty fines against violators,” he added. A CCMC official told TNIE, “As far as the pedestrian pathways are concerned, we’ve been taking against the encroachers, warning shopkeepers and imposing fines. Police must enforce law and take action against two-wheeler owners who park on the pathways. We’ve also informed them to take action.”
Speaking to TNIE, Deputy Commissioner of Police, (Traffic), Coimbatore City, M Rajarajan said, “The B2 police station personnel are the ones who have been imposing the most number of fines against violators in the city. Around 600 cases were filed against the violators last month. We’ve been regularly deputing patrol teams to monitor illegal parking. We’ve identified about four spots where the issue is rampant and we’ve warned shop owners. A fine of Rs 500 is being imposed and the wheels of illegally parked vehicles are locked.”