Subways, skywalks crying for attention

Subways, skywalks crying for attention

Pan stains, cracked walls, and fused lights greet you when you enter the city’s pedestrian subways. The skywalks are only marginally better.

Citizens hold their noses when they take the subway at the City railway station: the garbage piled up inside stinks. A few metres away, a drain remains open.  The subway at the Shivajinagar bus terminal is shut for good.

Built by the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) in 2011 as part of a Rs 8 crore project, the subway connects the bus station to Meenakshi Koil Street, Bowring Hospital and Russell Market.

Pasha M, a footpath vendor, said, “It was mostly occupied by beggars and goons. There were no security guards in place and lighting inside the subway was poor.”

BMTC officials claim the subway was closed as pedestrians didn’t much use it.  The subways on Raj Bhavan Road near Chalukya Circle, Chord Road near Vijayanagar bus station, and Millers Road near Chalukya Circle, are among those that have fallen into disuse. 

Malini Parmar crosses Residency Road skywalk near Bishop Cotton Boys' School, which is deserted. Malini says people use the road instead of the skywalk as it is more convenient.  

The poor design of skywalks and lack of maintenance keeps people away.  For instance, the skywalk opposite Sophia High School, Palace Road, has steep stairs, making it difficult for people to climb it.

Some skywalks have lifts---at Cauvery Bhavan at KG Road, on Tumakuru Road near Govardhan Theatre, on Mysuru Road in front of Gopalan Mall, and at Christ College near Dairy Circle---and only the one on Adugodi Road, near Forum Mall, has an escalator.

Umesh S, an advocate who uses the skywalk on KG Road, said most people avoid using it as the lift operator is not around.  Sampath, a resident of Adugodi, says all skywalks should get escalators. “In fact, escalators are better than lifts as they are easier to use," he said.

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