A few weeks ago, on a Monday morning, while I was trying to drive away the blues, I saw a few people standing and staring at the railway track near our house. Not another one, I hoped. But when I saw people in the crowd discussing something animatedly and calling up people from their mobile phones, I could sense uneasiness. Someone who was crossing the railway track earlier that morning or the previous night was critically or fatally injured. I was pained to learn later that evening that the victim succumbed to his injuries. He had been hit by a speeding train.
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Of course, pedestrians must use the footbridge and could learn a lesson from some sensible students of schools nearby (who conscientiously use the foot bridge). But there is no excuse for the transport authorities to leave a boundary wall with gaps, exposed to pedestrians and cyclists tempting them to walk across the tracks.
Contacting Mr. Ananthaswamy (BBMP East Chief Engineer available on 2297-5808/98802-01881) elicited the following responses:
a. Railway boundary wall construction and maintenance is the railways’ responsibility
b. Bore Bank Road will be repaired only after BWSSB rectifies the major water pipe leakage. This is overdue for more than a year despite several complaints. The BWSSB Chief Engineer, Venkatraju (operating from Cauvery Bhavan, 2294-5105) and the Assistant Engineers of Frazer Town (Mahesh, 2294-5167) and Jaymahal (Umesh, 2294-5137) were unreachable at their offices.
This is the railway line running parallel to the busy Bore Bank Road (the elevated road connecting Millers Road in Benson Town to Pottery Road and Tannery Road leading to the ITC factory) which is partly protected by a boundary wall. But the wall has gaps large enough for an adult to pass through and does not cover the entire stretch. Further, people dump trash and answer nature’s call on either side of the wall Questioning the garbage cleaners revealed that a ‘permanent’ trash bin installed previously was stolen! Is damaging or robbing a 3 foot concrete bin that easy? Messages and complaints to the municipal ward corporator/ councillor have been in vain. When the authorities can ensure that a dirty piece of land nearby is converted into a beautiful park, why can’t they provide basic amenities vital to the hygiene and safety of citizens? Is it a lack of will or something else?