Saturday, October 17, 2009

Jaws IV

Jaws IV
The recently inaugurated underpass near Maharani’s College is proving to be a deadly trap as students are using a three-foot wide cable lane adjacent to the underpass to cross to the other side
S ESHWAR AND ATUL CHATURVEDI


Here is a case of clear and present danger: The recently inaugurated underpass near Maharani’s College on Seshadri Road is proving to be a death-trap for hundreds of students!
Death-trap? Yes, because the students are left with no option but to walk dangerously atop the underpass which has no pathway for pedestrians. The students have started using a three-foot wide cable lane, which has no retaining walls or railings, as a pathway to cross the road.
It is a tightrope walk from the nearest bus stand to the college everyday. “Our hearts are literally in our mouths when we cross the underpass because if we are even a bit callous, the possibility of falling on the road below and getting run over by speeding vehicles is quite high,” said a student of Maharani’s Science College. A majority of the students use the cable lane to reach the bus stop near K R Circle.
There are three colleges in the vicinity of the underpass: Maharani’s Arts College, Maharani’s Science College and V H D Central Institute of Home Sciences. In all, about 4,000 students study in these colleges.
Pedestrians who walk this treacherous pathway go through anxious moments as they traverse this pathway and the anxiety only ends after they get to the other side of the bridge. Fixing a railing on this pedestrian stretch would make things better, but the railing simply doesn’t exist. None of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials have given a thought to fixing a railing.
When Bangalore Mirror visited the spot, students of the nearby Maharani’s College were seen clinging for dear life as they walked on the bridge. “There is hardly any space for two people to walk on the pathway,” a student, who did not wish to be identified, said.
However, BBMP has a different story to narrate. Actually, it is not a pathway for pedestrians. What the students are using is actually meant for a power line. The space had been left for the Bescom to lay an 11 kv power line. They laid the line at the construction of the underpass, but it was left open. Interestingly, none of the officials have taken any action to prevent students from using it nor have they installed railings so far. The BBMP contends that the issue of regulating pedestrian movement has to be sorted out by the traffic police.
The police, in turn, slam the agencies for a lack of foresight while designing the underpass. “It is really stupid on their part to have not thought of pedestrians while constructing the underpass which cost around Rs 4.5 crore,” said a traffic constable. However, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic-Central) A Nagappa said his men will swing into action. I have seen some students taking the treacherous route. I will ask the duty constable to put barricades and block the route. We don’t want to take any chances. Besides, people should think before adopting this dangerous route.

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