Steps riddled with fear

Steps riddled with fear


Steps riddled with fear

As the woes of Bangaloreans regarding various facilities continue, it’s
deplorable to see the problems faced by the senior citizens in the City, which is also known as ‘Pensioners’ Paradise’.

The elderly voice their concerns to Metrolife.Public transport is a scare, say many. BC Jain, who travels by the bus, says that a bus ride can be a really nasty experience. “It’s very rare that the elderly even get the seats reserved for them. While most people offer seats to women when it comes to the ‘ladies’ seat’, the old
people have to stand most of the time,” he voices. He says that the BMTC authorities have to be more attentive in this regard.

Vinod Poddar, another senior citizen, says that crossing the roads and junctions is a big worry. “Most of the pedestrian signals are really short and it’s not easy for the elderly to cross fast. Even signals or crossings in front of Metro stations are the same and it is no better even when the traffic police is around,” he says. Vinod adds that junctions like Mekhri Circle need to be managed better.

Though skywalks are a solution to avoid the ever-increasing traffic, they are a nightmare, says Sarla Jain. 

“I have used the skywalks on Old Airport Road and Richmond Road in past. Most of them lack proper lighting and are in a bad shape. Also, they have steep staircases, which are dangerous,” she says. Sarla says that like her, there are many who avoid using skywalks and prefer to cross the road.

The potholes in the City are an ongoing issue and add to the backaches and other body pains that the elderly face, says Pratibha Raj. “Though the BBMP has done some work, I hope that more is done before the rains. Whether you are in a car or bus, the unlevelled roads aggravate problems like spondylitis,” says Pratibha.

The footpaths are always in a bad condition and this affects the elderly the most, voices Kailasnath, another senior citizen. “The slabs on the footpaths are often broken. There are vendors on the pavements blocking half the space with two-wheelers going on the other half. It’s a really hard task to walk on the footpath, which is supposed to safeguard people from traffic, especially the elderly as they cannot move around fast,” he shares. He adds that proper fencing should be there on footpaths for the elderly to hold on to for support.

The authorities say that they are aware of the issues faced by the elderly and are continuously working to improve the situation. Anjum Parwez, managing director of the BMTC, says that there are regular drives every month to create awareness and see if the seat specifications are being followed. “We have about 30 teams doing random checks once a month to make sure that the rules are followed. There is also a fine of Rs 100 levied on trespassers who sit on the seats reserved for senior citizens,” he states.

The traffic police states that they have a special drive going on for pedestrians. B Dayananda, additional commissioner of police (traffic), says that 53 pelican signals have been added to make crossing easier for pedestrians. “The officers are also made aware of the issues faced by the citizens so that they are able to serve not just the elderly, but everyone better,” he vouches.

Alongwith the ongoing road work, the work on footpaths is also happening, says M Lakshminarayana, commissioner of BBMP . “All new skywalks will have lifts and escalators and the BBMP is looking at adding these to the existing ones too. Also, apart from the ongoing work covering 400 kilometres, which will finish by the end
of April, we are planning to do some more road work,” he wraps up.