If Bengaluru’s footpaths could talk, they’d have many a tale to tell. Perhaps about the mounds of garbage that are dumped on them… Or about people pitching camp to sell their wares, or sometimes even build their homes. While some could claim that they have sent people to the hospital with injuries, some others would state that they have claimed lives!
Even today, when there is so much conversation about road safety, and despite pedestrians being at the fore of this conversation, many roads do not have footpaths. Or even if they are present, they are not usable, either because of defects in the structure, or because somebody has decided to set up shop on the footpath.
Here’s a look at some of those footpaths around Bengaluru, where trying to walk may just turn out to be more than a challenge.
Boulders arise from the middle of a pavement near Agara Lake. Pic: Rahul Ravi
Footpaths make way for electric poles at regular intervals (Near Gopalan Mall, Bannerghatta Road). Pic: Rahul Ravi
Pedestrians must care not to step in cow dung. It is of course difficult to prevent cattle from defecating. The larger issue is the bikes – there’s nothing stopping riders from using footpaths as parking lots, or sometimes even as additional carriageways. Pic: Rahul Ravi
An entire slab of a footpath in JP Nagar is missing. This is especially dangerous in the dark or during the rains. Imagine falling into this… Pic: Rahul Ravi
Can this footpath on Hosur Road be called a death trap? Pic: Rahul Ravi
Construction sites often dump their materials on the footpath. This restricts the movement of pedestrians (Jayanagar). Pic: Rahul Ravi
More construction material on a footpath in HSR Layout. Pic: Rahul Ravi
Pedestrians are made to give way to bikes that are being repaired in Jakkasandra. Pic: Rahul Ravi
Uneven and pothole-ridden footpaths make the walk an ordeal for senior citizens. They are sometimes forced to get on and off the footpaths and this can prove tiresome. Pic: Rahul Ravi
Loose wires and missing slabs turn the footpath into a training ground for hurdles and long jump. Pic: Rahul Ravi
Anger and frustration, humour and wit, and quite a bit of drama. It was all there, as Bengaluru corporators raved and ranted about the water problem in their wards during the special two-day BBMP council session.