Pedestrians prefer walking on roads instead of navigating broken and inconvenient footpaths.
People take the road instead of walking on broken footpaths on both conventional and Tender (Specifications for Urban Road Execution) S.U.R.E. footpaths. Tender SURE infrastructure is designed to avoid road cutting and major maintenance.
Shobha, a 64-year-old pedestrian walking on Jayanagar’s 27th cross, 4th Block said, “It is difficult for me to climb and walk on the broken footpath. I only have the option of descending from the footpath and walking on the edge of the road.”
Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had started constructing Tender SURE roads in 2015, and till now it has constructed more than 29 roads in the commercial areas of the city. M. Lokesh, Chief Engineer (Projects-Central) of BBMP, said, “Only one layer of asphalt is to be rolled on K. G. Road from Mysore Bank Circle to Majestic and Siddapura road. As for the 11th main road in Jayanagar, out of 2.5 km of road construction 0.8 km is completed and 1.7 km is pending.”
He added that it is not yet complete because of some government issues on which he did not elaborate. Due to some technical problems, the work on NR Road is still going on. In the next three months BBMP aims to complete the construction of the roads planned under Tender SURE’s Phase I and II. “We have so far spent around Rs. 700 crores on the construction of these Tender SURE roads,” said M. Lokesh.
The pavements of Tender SURE footpath on roads like Brigade Road, Residency Road, and Commissariat Road, either have started coming out or have been broken. Besides the space occupied by the garbage piles on the side of some of these footpaths, and the broken pavements leave pedestrians no option but to take the road. Thejitha VM, a pedestrian walking on Brigade. Road said, “This road is basically very crowded and there is only one-way movement for vehicles. The footpaths are either broken or not in a good condition, leaving no space for people to walk. At times, we can see garbage thrown on the Commissariat Road footpaths which causes more inconveniences for us.”
K. B. Chaitra, Urban Planner and Assistant Professor at BGS School of Architecture and Planning, said that maintenance was crucial when it came to management of such roads. Design standards should be followed. She said, “Tender SURE roads can be a better alternative given the pre-consideration of all services and proper management of vehicles, traffic and pedestrians.” She said that given the lack of coordination and quality-work issues of BBMP, it is ideal to give the contract of roads to private urban designer companies.
M. Lokesh said that since Tender SURE roads have outlets designed for cables and wires, they help in reducing road digging by Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) and Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM). These companies are provided with chamber access to work on their wires and pipes.