Enraged students, residents demand skywalk in Hebbal

Last Updated 27 February 2015, 21:00 IST

A day after a speeding tanker killed two people at the Kempapura Junction on Thursday, college students, residents and Kannada activists staged a demonstration here on Friday.

Blocking the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) Road, the protesters demanded better pedestrian facilities at the junction. Arpita J, a BCom student from Sindhi College in Kempapura Agrahara, and Anand from Chikkaballapur were killed and several injured when the tanker jumped the signal and ploughed into them on Thursday.

Vehicular movement from KIA to the City came to a halt for more than three hours as hundreds of protesters squatted on the highway demanding that a skywalk be erected at the junction.

Scores of vehicles lined up along a stretch of over two km. The protesters only made way for a couple of ambulances stuck in the jam. Students from Sindhi College, Presidency College and members of various Kannada organisations gathered at the junction at about  11am and soon the crowd swelled, making it difficult for the police to regulate traffic.

Though they diverted traffic near Hebbal and Bagalur Cross on KIA Road, it was of little help. It was a bumper-to-bumper ride even in Nagawara, Thanisandra and other surrounding areas.

The protesting students even climbed atop stranded buses and shouted slogans against the authorities.

 The protesters wanted the concerned authorities to come to the spot and give them a written assurance that a skywalk would be constructed at the earliest.

Anitha V, a staffer at Sindhi College, said: “For two years we have been demanding the BBMP and the traffic police to construct a skywalk. But our pleas have fallen on deaf ears. We have even raised the road safety issue with the local corporator Indiramma and the Byatarayanapura MLA Krishna Byre Gowda.”

“The traffic police at the junction are rude and do not regulate traffic efficiently. This is not the first time an accident has happened at this junction,” said Sinchana, a final year BCom student.

ACP (Law and Order) Alok Kumar, who rushed to the spot, tried to pacify the protesters. The protesters started dispersing around 2 pm after Food and Civil Supplies Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao arrived and promised to take necessary action within a week’s time.

He said he would discuss the issue with the National Highways Authority officials and with the BBMP. The students also demanded that the State government release Rs 10 lakh each to the families of the dead and bear the medical expenses of the injured/

(Published 27 February 2015, 21:00 IST)

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