Two weeks after Sanjay Giri (19) died trying to cross Bellandur-ORR opposite Akme Harmony Apartments, and one week after the citizens around Bellandur’s mass protest, it seems like a ‘Sanjay Skywalk’, as residents are calling the proposed footbridge, will see the light of day.
P C Mohan, Member of Parliament for Bangalore Central, called for a meeting on Saturday for a spot survey by Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Ltd to give the green signal for a speedy skywalk construction, heeding to a demand by the residents. At the meeting all the stakeholders in the proposed skywalk were in attendance, including Mahadevpura MLA Aravind Limbavali, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Abhishek Goyal, Bellandur Ward Corporator Asha Suresh, BMRCL Chief Engineer Livingstone Eliazer and 130 Bellandur citizen association representatives from Akme Harmony Apartments, Sobha, GGL, Rainbow Drive Layout, Greenwood Regency, Adarsh Palm Retreat, Trinity, Kristal, Oceanus, Villa Del Mar, Rainbow Residency and Sun City that comprise Bellandur Forum and Bellandur Jothege—the civic action arm.
While the intent of the meeting was to have a site survey and a BMRCL NOC for the Sanjay Skywalk, the metro officials completed their preliminary inspection and requested for a week to table a feasibility and skywalk design recommendation report.
Mohan assured the Bellandur residents that the skywalk would be a reality in three months and he was actively working with MLA Limbavali and Corporator Asha Suresh on the funding and speedy construction of the skywalk. Mr Limbavalli produced a letter of intent from a construction firm that has already proposed a skywalk design to the ward corporator.
DCP Abhishek Goyal, promised to immediately put safe pedestrian crossing measures in place at Ibbalur and Bellandur junction to help pedestrians cross. This 1.5 km radius has two bus stops, two schools, 5 preschools, two technology parks, 100+ commercial establishments and restaurants, more than 8,000 residences and a daily footfall of approximately 30,000 pedestrians and vehicular passengers of 100,000.
The meeting ended on an optimistic note with children submitting their own skywalk designs to the Mohan, and Limbavalli promising to have a dedicated fortnightly program, ‘Only Bellandur’ connect to advocate for citizen partnership in resolving civic issues.
Mr Naresh Sadasivan summarized the Bellandur pain points and appreciated Mr P C Mohan’s alacrity of action, “I spend five working days every month just chasing elected representatives over civic issues I shouldn’t be running pillar to post for. It would be great if, like today, all of the government representatives worked together to make the citizen’s life livable on a regular basis and not expect citizens to connect the dots.” a view that was echoed by the other residents too. The MP has made a start with the skywalk action on the ground. The Sanjay Skywalk will epitomize this new citizen-government partnership.