Palike's pedestrian approach

Palike's pedestrian approach

The study showed the City has 0.63 as the index with Chandigarh topping the chart with 0.91. The average index for all the sampled cities is 0.52. But where are the facilities to accommodate these walkers?

Various comprehensive traffic and transpo­rtation studies (CTTS) quoted in the mobility index prepared in 2008, a Policy Paper for Pedestrian Movement in the Bangalore Metropolitan Region, by the Department of Urban Land Transport (DULT) suggest that the City has been consistently lagging in providing adequate footpath facilities and improve their condition. According to statistics under the CTTS, at least 14 to 17 per cent of the movement in the City is by pedestrians. The paper further showed that the City has been allocated Rs 281 crore under a five-year plan by the State from 2007-2012. A fraction of the amount is invested on roads and improving vehicular movement.

As per the report, of the total extent of proposed construction, only 0.60 per cent of the monetary expenditure was earmarked for footpaths, skywalks and subways.

The report showed the City had embarked on constructing skywalks and subways worth Rs 211 crore and Rs 70 crore of the allocation was for improvement of footpaths. But what has been the result? The civic authority appears to have taken for granted issues of pedestrian movement.

Considering the dismal state of maintenance of footpaths, it is not surprising to know that BBMP has failed to utilise any of its funds in 2010-11 towards pedestrian safety.
In a City which sees a considerable increase in the number of vehicles, it is hard not to notice that most projects involving pedestrian safety have been shelved. According to BBMP records, most footpaths have not been reconstructed or freshly laid out for over two financial years.  Further, sources in BBMP said that of the Rs 40 crore earmarked towards reconstruction and laying a fresh set of footpaths in the City for 2010-12, only 10 percent of the funds has been utilised towards these projects.

A cash-strapped BBMP, which has been looking at various avenues to increase its revenue, is looking at the ‘encroachments’ of footpaths as another option. With massive construction undertaken by private builders and property owners, levying ground rent on dumping of construction material fetches income to the Palike. Result: The encroachments further push the citizens to walk on the already congested roads.

It appears, with little or no interest taken by BBMP towards creating an exclusive package for laying or relaying footpaths, the projects have become part of contracts that include construction of stormwater drains and maintenance of roads in various parts of Bangalore.

Projects underway

Zone    *Projects    Amount
            (In Rupees crore)
Bommanahalli         15        3.12
Dasarahalli        2        0.64
East        61        14.34
Head Office             11        3.96
Mahadevpura        19        3.57
RR Nagar        27        11.48
South        44        10.05
West        241        68.67
Yelahanka        27        9.5
(*The projects include construction of footpaths, stormwater drains and asphalting of roads in each zone)

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