Brows raised as skywalk sprouts up overnight

Brows raised as skywalk sprouts up overnight

In an apparent attempt to avert a public backlash, the BBMP built a skywalk on Raja Ram Mohan Roy Road on Sunday night. dh photo/ANAND BAKSHI

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) installed a metallic beam overnight for the skywalk on Raja Ram Mohan Roy Road near Kanteerava Stadium, amid opposition by residents of surrounding areas.

"We were shocked to see the beam. There was nothing till Sunday late night. But on Monday morning, we were surprised to see the skywalk taking shape. There was no necessity for a skywalk in this locality and we don’t understand why the officials are bent on building one," says Syed Pasha, a resident. He feels it is a sheer waste of public money.

Akram, a shopkeeper, suspects foul play in the project. "The officials didn't have an answer when we asked them about the need for a skywalk here. I don't think the BBMP acts this fast on other civic grievances like bad roads, potholes and land encroachments."

BBMP rejects doubts

Somashekar S, chief engineer, BBMP road infrastructure, rubbished all misgivings about the project.

"This is a pure pedestrian-friendly project. There is no safe place for them to cross the road on this stretch. So we have come up with the project in PPP model. We will install elevators on both ends where pedestrians can easily cross to the other side. We came up with the project after a proper survey, analysing the need of a skywalk in the locality," he said.

On the amount being spent on the project by BBMP in the PPP model, Somashekar said, "We are just giving the place. The maintenance of the skywalk will be done by private partners. We will just get ad revenue from the project."

Prodded further on the expected profit, he said, "It's more than Rs 20 lakh per annum."