Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The city’s stinking underbelly

The city’s stinking underbelly

Anil Kumar Sastry

Subways at many places in Bangalore present a picture of neglect

— Photo: K. Murali Kumar

bad maintenance: Pedestrians find it difficult to walk through the subway connecting the City Railway Station and the Kempegowda Bus Station.

BANGALORE: Overflowing sewage, garbage, stench, hawkers selling odds and ends all along the path… This is the scene that greets you as you enter the subway connecting the City Railway Station with the Kempegowda Bus Stations (KBS).

“I have no choice but to use the subway to reach the KBS in the morning and the railway station in the evening,” says Mahesh Babu, who regularly commutes between Ramanagaram and the city for his daily avocation. The road above the subway is barricaded for pedestrians’ safety and everyone has no choice but to take this subway, Mr. Babu says.

Hawkers selling everything from pan masala and cigarettes to clothes spread their ware on the entire stretch of the subway, affecting the movement of pedestrians.

The situation is ditto inside the subway that connects KBS with Gandhinagar (near Sangam theatre). The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and police authorities simply look the other way.

Once you exit the subway and take a ramp towards KBS towards KSRTC bus station, again you are greeted by a hordes of hawkers and beggars occupying a major part of the skywalk.

On the other hand, the skywalk within BMTC’s jurisdiction is free of hawkers and beggars, thanks to the initiative taken by authorities concerned.

In the Krishna Rajendra Market, the subway is relatively clean but has limited takers as it does not offer complete connectivity around the market area.

Only the stretch under the K.R. Road is in use while the work on the one under the flyover (connecting Market Circle and Avenue Road side) is going on for almost one year. This was the first subway of Bangalore.

Another subway connecting BMTC’s Shivajinagar Bus Terminal under the Central Street is also being misused. The footpath between the Central Street and Bowring Hospital Compound is completely occupied by hawkers and pedestrians have no space to walk.

However, not all the subways are in bad shape in Bangalore. The subway connecting the platforms in the City Railway Station, once similar to the ones maintained by BBMP, now sport a clean, if not swanky, look. While the walls are free of graphic designs of pan stains, the pathway is maintained clean without sewage.


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