The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on Friday stopped the construction of the skywalk near the gate of Bishop Cottons Girls’ School on Residency Road. The excavated portion of the footpath constructed under TenderSURE, was hurriedly covered up on Friday. The digging had started on Thursday.
Bangalore Mirror had published a story on Friday – ‘They’re taking a dig at us’, about BBMP ruining a road which cost the Palike Rs 13.50 crore per kilometre. The BBMP’s Traffic Engineering Cell, based on the recommendation of traffic police, had proposed the skywalk, a move which drew withering reactions from social activists and Bengaluru’s citizens.
They’re taking a dig at us
This means that the skywalk will eat into the footpath and leave no space for pedestrians, who mostly comprise school and college students from the many educational institutions on that stretch. Besides this is a busy road, with a high volume of vehicular traffic at all times in the day.
Reacting to the story, BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad, “I have instructed the BBMP executive engineer to stop the skywalk work and restore the footpath immediately. I was not aware of this construction. I came to know that schools had approached the traffic police to build a skywalk. I will not allow the construction of the skywalk on the footpath. Let the schools give land for the construction of the skywalk. The private agency will be given the rights to advertise on the skywalk as per the norms.”
Calling it a good decision, Kathyayini Chamaraj, Executive Trustee of CIVIC Bangalore said that there was no need for the skywalk at that place. “Pedestrian crossing is available near Cash Pharmacy and St. Joseph’s College,” said Chamaraj, adding that she had already sent an email to the Chief Minister and BBMP Commissioner on this issue.
Welcoming the BBMP’s decision on the skywalk, Sai Datta, a social activist, appreciated the BBMP Commissioner’s quick action to restore the footpath.
“I am very happy to know that the construction of the skywalk has been halted. I want the BBMP Commissioner to take stringent action against the BBMP engineers responsible for the damage to the footpath. The BBMP Commissioner should form a committee to look into skywalks constructed illegally,’’ said Datta.