Underpasses - some underused, some never

Underpasses - some underused, some never

Stinking and rain water clogged, the pedestrian underpass on Raj Bhavan road is permanently closed at one end, rendering it of no use to the ordinary citizen.

The very mention of it is met with a careless shrug, and laughed off. Frequent visitors of the area swear they have hardly ever used it themselves, and have seen none use it.
The reasons are obvious to anybody who goes a few steps down the underpass.

Large amounts of trash lies scattered hither and thither, and there is not even an inch of space to set foot, due to the stagnant water that has risen to the height of the initial couple of steps, making it most user-unfriendly.

"It is any day better to wait for the signal to go red and cross, than having to go down something so unclean", says Mahalingam, a shopkeeper close by. However, a few are of the opinion that it would remain unused even if it were clean and tidy. "It is pointless. There is a zebra-crossing, there are traffic signals and policemen; hence crossing the road is not a matter of concern," says K A Soman, a teacher in a school
nearby.

Further ahead, the underpass near the Chalukya Hotel is relatively clean, but equally unused. The only human presence it has known is of little children running up and down, for sheer amusement.

"It is definitely not user-friendly. It is dark inside, and people prefer to face the traffic and cross the road than go all the way down and climb up again. The closed structure isn't appealing, either," feels Kumar, a businessman who passes through the place everyday. "A sky-walk would have been a lot better," he says.

Moreover, earlier reports of the underpasses being used for depraved activities have further repelled people from using them. "There are no proper security measures, who knows what lurks in there?" adds Kumar. Agreeing with the views of civilians is Hanumanthe Gowda, traffic policeman stationed at the circle. "It is very, very useless. Not even in the peak hours of the morning do people bother to use it. It is definitely a structure not worth the money spent on it," he says.

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