Footpaths are citizens' responsibility too

Citizens have a hard time walking on a footpath in Cubbon Park, which is under repair.

Malleswaram Social’s ‘Bharatanatyam Saaku #Footpathbeku’, a satiric take on the poor state of the area’s footpaths, went viral recently.

The campaign, ‘#footpathbeku’, started trending with the success of the video. The group’s attempt is being appreciated by many on social media platforms and has made headlines too.

Such was the impact of the video that one of the footpaths where it was shot was cleared of boulders. The initiative has gained support from the authorities as well. The group is planning to make more such videos to increase awareness.

A volunteer of the ‘Malleswaram Social’, Dhanush N feels the authorities are not the only one to be blamed. “The campaign aims to spread awareness among citizens, who also have the responsibility of keeping the footpaths clean and clear of vehicles and other objects. We want every household to understand that when they look at their convenience, hundreds of people get affected, especially elders,” he says.

He shares an incident where they got the permission from the MLA and the corporator to construct a small stretch of pavement at a locality in Malleswaram, but the residents didn’t co-operate, fearing it might damage their property. “The mindset of the people has to change. It is insensitive and ignorant on their part,” Dhanush says, adding that their goal is to get everybody involved in their initiative.

Another member of the association, Krishna Panyam, wrote about the issue in his article, ‘#FootpathBeku — A citizen awareness campaign about Footpaths’, on Medium. It gives insights into problems seen on the roads like riding on footpaths, encroachment by businesses and vendors and more. He observes that the older parts of the city have good pavements when compared with newer areas like Bellandur.

“There is no short-term solution. Money is spent on providing amenities, but it is the people’s behaviour that must be changed,” says Krishna, adding that rules must be strictly enforced.

A recent incident has given all the more reasons for people to realise their responsibility. DH reported about the incident on Cunnigham Road where Mohammed Sajid, owner of a commercial complex, partially damaged the TenderSURE pavement in front of his building to make space for parking. 

An FIR has been filed against Mohammed, and he’s taken responsibility to reconstruct the pavement, and also pay a fine of one lakh rupees.

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Footpaths are citizens' responsibility too

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