Riddled with obstacles

Riddled with obstacles

Pedestrians in the City often feel neglected. Adding to their woes are huge transformers and other obstacles like poles and hanging wires on the footpaths of the City.

Metrolife speaks to Bangaloreans about the problems they face due to these obstacles.

Many agree that since a footpath is constructed for pedestrians, it must serve its purpose.

“Most of the time, there are transformers or light poles on the footpath. The transformers are huge and take more than three-fourths of the path,” says Evette Sarah D’Souza, a senior analyst with an investment banking company.

She adds that when pedestrians get off the footpath because of these obstacles, they can also hamper the ongoing traffic and cause accidents.

“My friend and I had a bad experience near MS Ramaiah Hospital. Smoke and sparks were coming out of a huge transformer. It was just about two feet away from us and we were shocked,” narrates Mohamed Ariff, a manager at a firm, pointing out that these obstacles can be seen everywhere in the City.

He says that there are many of these in the City. “There is one located at the crossing of Vellara Junction on Brigade Road.

When the vehicles are moving, it becomes a challenge for pedestrians to walk on footpath. They have to get on and off it,” says Ariff.

He adds that there are transformers on footpaths in areas like RT Nagar and Frazer Town too. “In such a case, two people cannot walk on the footpath at the same time,” points out Ariff. He notes that since these incidents keep happening, a regular check on transformers by the authorities is a must.

It’s the usual ordeal for regulars walking on such stretches. But for others, it’s a challenge.

“I live in Mathikere and on the streets of New BEL Road, most footpaths have electric poles with jagged metal bars sticking out at random angles.

These pose a threat to pedestrians,” says Shruti Tadikonda, a student of MSRIT. “Since I know the route, I know exactly where to duck or squeeze past. But many a time, people get bruised or their clothes get ripped,” she adds.

Charles, a businessman, says that it’s disgusting to see garbage dumped in and around these transformers. “Most of the time, I have seen transformers with heaps of garbage around them or even inside,” he points out.

He notes that transformers in places like CMH Road, near the RTO, Indiranagar and Domlur bus stop face this issue.

Authorities say that measures will be taken to keep a check on transformers and other similar obstacles posing a threat.

H Nagesh, director (technical) of BESCOM, says that the City doesn’t have enough space for transformers to be placed elsewhere and also people don’t want them placed in front of their homes.

“There is no civic amenities site given by the BBMP for the same.

We cannot move the transformers from one place to another since land is costly in the City,” he reasons. Nagesh adds that the covering around such transformers, called ‘Compact Sub-station’, could help avert accidents.

“There are around 170 transformers housed in such protection boxes in the City. And this option can be taken up for the safety aspect,” he adds.

M Lakshminarayana, commissioner of BBMP, says that an agency has come forward to make changes so that transformers don’t cause any inconvenience to pedestrians.

“The transformers will be raised to about ten feet above the ground so that those who are walking do not face any problem. There might be two poles to support them but space for pedestrians will be ensured accordingly,” vouches Lakshminarayana.

He says that a wooden layer will be placed below the transformer which will prevent it from being affected by water and sunlight.

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