Friday, April 28, 2006

Some ‘Footpath’ for thought

Some ‘Footpath’ for thought
Deccan Herald

The problem of encroached footpaths is not limited to Bangalore alone. Indians across the country seem to understand very little about the importance of footpaths. Footpaths are badly maintained or encroached, forcing people to walk on the road.

Other cities like Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lampur have strict laws against jay walking. Those found guilty pay a fine of over $500. If you are driving in Singapore, US, UK or Canada, you will have to stop your vehicle to allow the pedestrian to cross. If we have a similar rule in Bangalore, we will never make it to our destination!

In my opinion, we cannot solve this problem by just making good roads. The police and BMP have a careless approach to this problem. We have to go a long way to go before we see Bangalore like Singapore.


Set deadlines

Your series on pavements was ‘footpath for thought’. Footpaths have been encroached by the vendors, or are being used by bikers as a short-cut.

The BMP should make new resolutions in this regard. Ban footpath vendors. Instead of laying footpaths every summer, construct good ones the first time, and save time and money. Good footpaths will not only help reduce accidents, but also beautify our bad roads.

The concerned authorities should award work to the right people and set deadlines. If this is not done, there will be unfinished work, which will lead to the usual monsoon mania.

Margaret Rajan

Plan them well

Firstly, I wish to congratulate Deccan Herald for focussing on such a vital issue, like footpaths. A lot of public money is being channelised towards upgradation of footpaths.

It would have been better, if the concerned authorities had used imagination before planning their projects.

For example, the footpath upgradation work on Airport Road from Domlur flyover to Airport is almost complete.

However, those who walk on it will find the experience too tiring as the height of the kerb stones at the breaks is too high, sometimes as high as 1.5 feet.

Senior citizens, children and persons with disability will find it difficult to climb up and down at each break. The kerb stone height should have been limited to a maximum of 6 inches, as it is the accepted height globally.

Another factor that hampers free movement of pedestrians are the protective half walls constructed around trees on footpaths. At many places, the walking space is reduced to a mere two feet because of these constructions.

The authorities could have altered the shape of the half-wall to an oval shape, thus allowing more space for passers-by.

Meanwhile, on NAL Wind Tunnel Road, hectic digging of footpaths was done in November last year, but nothing has been cleared since then.

The footpaths on both sides are not accessible to pedestrians, thanks to piled up stones and that illegally-parked vehicles. Alas, the right of way?

P P Gopi



The overwhelming response by readers to Deccan Herald’s campaign against footpath encroachment, ‘Give Me My Way’, reflects the growing frustration among pedestrians in the city, who are steadily losing their right over footpaths. DH presents some responses and recommendations forwarded by our readers.

If you have a complaint or a suggestion on how to safeguard city’s pavements, write in to us at Deccan Herald, 75, M G Road, Bangalore-560 001 or email


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