BBMP selects 5 CBD area spots to build skywalks

PUBLIC, POLICE participation: The spots have been identified based on requests from the public and traffic police, say BBMP sources. DH file photo

Unfazed by public opposition, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike plans to put up skywalks at five places in the Central Business District, which would hugely benefit the advertisers.

The civic body has identified Residency Road near Hotel Ritz Carlton, Race Course Road, Brigade Road junction Mota Royal Arcade, Indiranagar Sony signal junction and Garuda Mall to HomeStop to build the skywalks.

It has also called for appointing a consultant to prepare a detailed feasibility report for the project.

BBMP sources said the spots have been identified based on requests from the public and traffic police.

“Once the feasibility report is presented, we’ll call for the tender to build the foot overbridge at these five locations,” a BBMP official said.

The official also added that the consultancy agency would prepare the report in a month, containing details like vehicle movement per hour and pedestrian movement.

The public and the police will be consulted.

In October, the civic body held the ground-breaking ceremony to begin work on a skywalk to connect the Rangoli Metro Art Centre abutting the MG Road metro and Navrathan Jewellers. But the construction was halted by the BBMP to seek permission from the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL).

In January 2018, the BBMP also had plans to build an integrated skywalk in Bengaluru’s most cherished heritage space — the Mahatma Gandhi Circle opposite Cubbon Park. After DH ran a story headlined, ‘Skywalk set to obscure Gandhi statue’, the civic body gave up the plan.

The BBMP will build the five skywalks under the DBFOT (design-build-finance-operate-transfer) model. Bidders will get commercial advertisement rights according to the BBMP’s bylaws.

Failed experiment

An expert said the skywalk is a failed experiment and has become an ugly piece of furniture since the public is not using it.

“Skywalks are needed only on the divided roads, not in the city. They should be rejected since they basically reinforce the idea that the road belongs to vehicles and not to the people,” said Srinivas Alavilli of Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB).

“The solution for pedestrian safety is walk signals. The foot overbridge in the CBD area will rob the city of its aesthetics,” Alavilli added.

He said skywalks failed because they are not friendly for senior citizens and people with disability. He urged the BBMP to conduct a survey on the number of people using skywalks and hold public consultations through ward committees before embarking on the project.

“The five places identified by the BBMP should be made pedestrian-friendly streets with footpaths and pelican signals,” Alavilli said.

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BBMP selects 5 CBD area spots to build skywalks

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