Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sidewalk? Where is it on Lavelle Road?

Sidewalk? Where is it on Lavelle Road?
S Lalitha , Bangalore, Jan 27, DH News Service:

Pedestrians walking along Lavelle Road find themselves in an unenviable position...

This narrow stretch of road extending to a mere 400 metres, has no footpath on one side. The footpath on the other side is crowded at some spots with broken bricks and stones. Even the space along the road is taken over by cars and vehicles of commercial establishments here.

An NGO, Transparency International India (Karnataka chapter), is taking up cudgels on behalf of the pedestrians and has shot letters to top officials of the BBMP and the Traffic police to ensure walking space here.

B V Shetty, Honourary Secretary of the NGO, charged that hired taxis (bearing the yellow board) used by customers who frequent the hotels here and an automobile concern ate up much of the parking space along this road.

Top government officials conceded that there was a problem posed by vehicles while the commercial establishments denied that their vehicles encroached the road.

Assistant General Manager (Sales and Marketing), P K Bittu Nair, said his company vehicles were parked along the 2nd and 3rd cross roads and not on Lavelle Road. B S Muniraju, Assistant Manager at Hotel Regaalis, said his establishment had enough space to house numerous cars and there was no need for them to use the road space.

However, repeated visits by this reporter last week revealed haphazard parking of vehicles, particularly four-wheelers, on this road.

Cubbon Park Traffic police inspector, Mallikarjun, said the police tried their best to clear the space of vehicles on a regular basis. “We impose fine on 30 to 40 vehicles each week for parking along this stretch,” he said.

The real issue, however, is that some parking space needs to be allotted by BBMP for this area, which was conferred a commercial status from its earlier residential category. “The parking area alloted at the backside of Bowring Hospital previously has been closed now and vehicles are forced to hunt for space,” the Inspector said.

BBMP Assistant Executive Engineer in-charge for the area, Ashok conceded that pedestrian space was encroached in a big way on this road. “We have received complaints. Since the kerb of the platform is very low, vehicles manage to park them here. We are working towards increasing the height of the kerb so that vehicles cannot reach the platform,” he said. Ashok also assured that work in this connection will begin shortly.


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