A sad state of affairs

A sad state of affairs

A sad state of affairs

Although the City’s drivers are probably the most vocal when it comes to complaining about Bangalore’s infrastructure, one could argue that pedestrians have it much, much worse.

Given the condition of the City’s pavements — ranging from patchy at the best of times to broken down or alternatively, completely non-existent at the worst, it’s no wonder that those who prefer the old-fashioned method of commuting have a lot to complain about.

This problem is especially intensified during the monsoon, when unpaved areas transform into muddy pools and slushy patches. This forces pedestrians to encroach onto road space, posing a very obvious threat to their safety.

Residents of the City have a rather mixed response to this problem. One school of thought suggests that although well-constructed pavements are maintained in the centre of the City, the situation worsens as one travels to the outskirts.

Aviral, who lives in Kasavanahalli, off Sarjapur Road, belongs to this group. “There are no
pavements whatsoever in my part of town. Because of this, puddles form immediately after rainfall and pedestrians are forced to walk almost in the centre of the road. It’s quite a hassle,” he describes, adding that from what he has seen, the situation in neighbouring HSR Layout is marginally better. “That area is better developed; the pavements are wider, well-maintained and can easily be used by pedestrians. I suppose it’s always worse on the outskirts,” he reflects.

For others, the issue isn’t location — it’s to do with the seemingly never-ending construction work that sporadically breaks out in different parts of the City.

Himani, who lives in Basaveshwaranagar and studies in Mount Carmel College, admits to facing problems in both areas. “The pavements near our college are dug up — possibly to relay some pipes — and have then been abandoned. This has been the situation for the last month or so and it’s an especially huge problem when it rains and there’s mud everywhere,” she complains, bitterly.

“The pavements near my house aren’t great either. There’s a lot of construction going on near Ambedkar Stadium, so I have no option but to walk on the road. This problem becomes even worse because of poor lighting — at night, drivers can’t even see that I’m on the road,” she states.

Ashwini, a professional, agrees with this view. She says, “Areas of the City which are tourist hotspots — like Brigade Road — are lined with well-maintained pavements. But the minute one steps on to Church Street, which is just one lane away, they again experience the same problems: broken-down pavements, which are incomplete, or
occupied by parked motorbikes and cycles. It’s a sad state of affairs.”