Coming soon, a skywalk that no one wants

Work has gathered pace on the skywalk opposite the Bengaluru cantonment railway station. DH PHOTO/S K DINESH

Despite stiff opposition from the corporator and public, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has started to construct a new skywalk at the Cantonment Railway Station intersection in Vasanth Nagar.

The Palike is constructing the foot overbridge (FOB), which will be equipped with lifts and escalators, in a public-private partnership (PPP).

“There is public demand for a skywalk here and we have done a feasibility report that clearly says there is a need for an FOB for passengers going to the railway station,” a BBMP officer said.

Meanwhile, M K Gunashekar, Jayamahal councillor, said there is no need for a skywalk. Speaking to DH, he said: “I have sought the report on the parameters used by the BBMP to construct the skywalk. According to me, there is no need for a skywalk where there is a signal. Most people will not use skywalks.”

“BBMP officers are yet to give a report and the details along with a feasibility report to me on why they are constructing the FOB. I have also asked whether the traffic police have given a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) to construct the skywalk,” he added.

According to Imtiaz Ali, a  resident of Vasanth Nagar, the skywalk will not benefit the elderly or the differently-abled. “The BBMP is constructing the skywalk just to make money by advertisements,” said Ali.

Another senior officer from the BBMP said: “We (BBMP) are not going to spend a penny on skywalks as they will be built under Develop, Build, Fund, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis by the advertisement companies.”

“Besides constructing them free of cost for the pedestrians, they will pay us ground rent every month,” he added.

The plan for the skywalk near the Cantonment Railway Station was approved in the BBMP council in June 2017.

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