Scary height keeps citizens off skywalk

At 20 metres above ground, the lift-attached facility on KG Road is shunned by pedestrians

Scary height keeps citizens off skywalk

Consuming a good Rs 2.25 crore of the State exchequer, and nearly nine months since its fanfare opening, the skywalk on Kempe Gowda Road, touted to be first of its kind for providing lift facility, however, wears a deserted look, shunned by those for whom it was intended.

Erected for ensuring pedestrian safety on the busy road — ironically widened and made one-way to accommodate more moving traffic, barring a few physically challenged persons and senior citizens, the skywalk, abutting Cauvery Bhavan on one side and BWSSB Bhavan on the other,  remains just another ornamental piece adding to the clutter of buildings around.

The reasons are not far to seek. First, is its inhibiting height — it scales a good 20 metres from ground. But, precisely to surmount this problem and the prevalent mindset among the public, the skywalk, built on a public-private-partnership, was provided with lift facility.

However, as the saying goes, one can take a horse to the pond, but cannot make it drink. So too it seems with the people.

Excuse

For, the lame excuse they tout for not taking the skywalk is that the steps are one too many to climb down. After a facile lift ride, the citizens seem too lazy to make that much effort in descending the steps.

It’s not the just ordinary citizens who are at fault. Incidentally, the skywalk, taken up following a public interest litigation (PIL) by Advocates Association of Bangalore President K N Subba Reddy and fellow lawyer Honnappa to help the advocates reach the civil court easily, is as much being scorned by them as by the citizens.

Reddy, however, has no rational explanation as to why his fellow advocates do not access the facility.

On the other, he rues, not many people use it as they feel that descending the stars is a time-consuming affair. So much for public advocacy and PIL.

Closed on holidays

However, a resident of the area, Rajshekar K, had a point when he observed that during government holidays and festivals, the days when it will be most patronised, ironically, the skywalk remains shut, given that it has a shutter.

Else, it is kept open only for a few hours. As to why it’s being shut is anybody’s guess.
Not to be done, an optimistic Rajdeep Buildcon Private Company Assistant Manager (Operations and Maintenance) Harish H S, though maintains that compared to the initial months after inauguration people have begun using it.

CCTV cameras

He blames people’s misconception that they have to pay and use the facility, a notion the company has not made any effort to drive away.

Further, in the belief that the public using the facility will grow manifold, he said, the company, which makes all efforts to maintain it in a spick-and-span condition, will soon install six closed-circuit television cameras as well to keep tabs on people to ensure their safety and security.

Whether the pedestrian bite the bait and take the safest route, only time will tell.
For now, though, the skywalk waits to serve those who would make the most of it.

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