JP Nagar citizens march to reclaim footpaths

JP Nagar citizens march to reclaim footpaths

Encroachments are rampant on 24th Main Road

JP Nagar residents say the footpath is rendered useless due to encroachment by vendors.

Residents of JP Nagar are campaigning to get their footpaths back.

About 200 citizens walked on the ‘footpath’ from Brigade Millenium apartments to Nandhini Junction on Sunday.

The walk brought together residents from 25 apartment buildings and independent houses on the 2.2 km stretch.

“To say we walked on the footpath would be a misrepresentation considering how much of it is not accessible to pedestrians,” says Rajesh Sundararajan, one of the organisers, and a member of Citizens for Bengaluru.

In July 2019, citizens had banded together to call attention to the many problems that plagued 24th Main, and the stretch in question.

Citizen activists say almost all problems were addressed by the BBMP and police authorities,  save one — the encroachment of footpaths.

 “The roads have been asphalted, 80 per cent of the street lights have been fixed, and CCTV cameras have been installed albeit not as many as we would like,” he says.

Footpaths exist on 80 per cent of the stretch, but they are built in such a way that citizens find them difficult to use. “And there are so many encroachments,” he
says.Commercial establishments have taken up the footpaths, and vendors have set up shop there as well. Also, construction workers use them to dump their material, and parked cars add to the lack of pedestrian

“Black cables loom overhead and on the footpaths, posing hazards to pedestrians, especially in the dark,” he says. 

Manoj Naskanti, another citizen who took part in the campaign, says, “It seems like tax-payers money was spent only to aid encroachments by shops. Even the road signs and no-parking boards are absent.”

The BBMP and the police should stop favouring commercial establishments over residents.

Eateries and gyms attract huge numbers of people, and customers take over the footpath to hang out and the road to park, says Rajesh.

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