Thursday, February 26, 2009

BBMP’s pedestrian

BBMP’s pedestrian

For once, the focus shifts from motorists as the Palike’s 2009-10 budget promises 220 subways and 16 skywalks

Finally, the much-neglected pedestrian has a reason to smile: He can soon hope to move around without fear of being knocked down by some speeding motorist. The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) budget for 2009-10, presented by commissioner S Subramanya on Wednesday with an outlay of Rs 4,246.35 crore, promises to put pedestrians out of peril by deciding to construct a whopping 220 pedestrian underpasses and 16 skywalks across the city. “We want to provide an underpass or an overpass to pedestrians for every 300 metres on the arterial roads,” Subramanya said. Another bonanza: The skywalks will come with escalators.
This is a much required infrastructure, given the fact that there are hardly a dozen pedestrian subways and skywalks for a city with a population of over 80 lakh and an area of 741 sq km.
But there is an element of doubt too: The promise comes at a time when the BBMP’s resource mobilisation capability has weakened considerably because of the economic slowdown and this is an election year when governments are wont to go on an assurance-spree. Other than pedestrian safety, the budget has nothing new to offer. It only reiterates what it had said in the previous budgets, where the focus has been road development. BMB


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