BENGALURU: With monsoons on the horizon (literally), the bad condition of many of Bengaluru’s subways, which could have helped pedestrians during rain, becomes all the more trying. It appears to be a catch-22 situation with subways, for while commuters say they are unusable due to their bad state, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner Maheshwar Rao said the reason BBMP did not attend to subways was because commuters did not use them enough.
During the monsoon, pedestrians and even motorists tend to use subways also as a shelter, but they could be robbed of this option at many places.There are several subways near KR Circle, which could have catered to students of the colleges around the circle. At least four colleges are located within 500 m of the circle. An inspection of four subways revealed that while one of them was shut, three others were in an extremely filthy state and were hence unusable.
A regular commuter in the area said these subways were only in a usable condition for about three months after they were constructed a few years ago. Since then, they have been in a bad state. “One cannot enter any subway without covering their nose. A lot of colleges around have evening classes and hence, students attending them could have used these subways, but nobody uses them now. The subways have in fact become hubs of anti-social activities, and incidents of eve-teasing were reported inside them,” he said.
The commuter added that these subways are used as shelters during rainfall, but can only accommodate a few people as they only gather near the entrance and do not step inside.
DS Rajashekar, President of Citizens’ Action Forum, said water was accumulating inside several subways during rainfall, which indicated faulty design. An example of this, he said, was a subway at Chalukya Circle. “Another issue is poor maintenance of subways and lack of lighting inside them. As a result, few people will use the subway and they attract criminal elements,” he said. He added that there was no issue with the locations of the subways, and they were scientifically planned.
Transport expert Sanjeev Dhyamannavar said subways around the Majestic bus terminal were also in a bad state earlier, but were improved and are now being used by many commuters, though presence of hawkers remains an issue.