Mangaluru: Have you seen any pedestrian walking on the footpath in the city- for all these years people have been so used to walk on the streets that they are reluctant to use the pathway- and also for the reason pedestrian feel that walking on the streets with caution is much safer than using the city footpaths. The condition of the footpaths are so poor, that most of the places the street vendors have encroached, people constructing house use the footpaths for dumping all the construction material. People use footpaths to park their vehicles, some have developed nice gardens on footpaths and shop owners, they would use every inch available in front of their shops. Footpaths are for daring people who can manoeuvre the open drains, sand pits, big potholes, other obstacles and parked vehicles. But I some times during my morning walk, I use the city footpaths because I believe ” Darr ke aage jeet hai”. The city administration should make sure that they construct footpaths of safe standards and pedestrian friendly, otherwise few years from now, even archaeological survey of India would struggle to find where was the footpath.
Just look at the condition of the newly built footpath on the Bunts Hostel-Kadri Road (in front of Toyota show room, near CV Nayak Hall)- you will feel sorry that tax payers money is simply lost down the drain in constructing this new footpath which is not pedestrian friendly. If some one walks on this footpath, chances are that they will trip and fall, because at every 2 or 3 ft there is a obstacle- in the form of a provision constructed with a height of 2-3 inches with a lid, to be used to clean the drainage in case there is a blockage. But why so many of these, which pose danger while walking on this footpath. Doesn’t make sense! Do the city officials ever bother to look at the civic work that has been taken-up-I guess not. So we have all these incomplete and hazardous footpaths and streets.
What is the condition of the footpath that you trudge on? Just look at some of the perils of walking on Mangaluru’s footpaths. A description of a footpath says- A path for pedestrians in a built-up area; a pavement. A path for people to walk along. But if Mangaluru’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. So why even bother to build footpaths which are not safe and pedestrian friendly? Why unnecessary spend tax payers money on something that is not usable?
Death Trap! Is it a Foot Path or a Death Path?
Looking at the following photos, you will find out how unsafe is it to use this newly built footpath on Colaco Hospital Road (in front of Teresa High School-Bendore)-there are quite a few openings on this footpath, that while walking after dark on this pathway may land you inside the drain, resulting in severe injuries or even death. But has MCC officials looked into the safety issues of this footpath- I guess not. They will only wake up and rectify the issue, once someone gets injured or when a life is lost.
Another major problem facing the commuters/pedestrians is that, when the roads are dug for concreting the city’s footpaths take a severe beating. Some footpaths in city’s main thoroughfares have vanished pushing the pedestrians into direct confrontation with the city’s killer public transport system. This education hub is now like a middle aged bachelor,with the government and MCC trying to dress him up with all sorts of cosmetics while the vital aspects are being sidelined. With half the city being dug up for one or the other reason the traffic appear to be going haywire while the pedestrians are scampering for safety.
Mangaluru has a dubious reputation for being the most unsafe city for pedestrians. Nobody has investigated into that so there is no official document available for gauging the level of discomfort for the pedestrian but the way the city is dug up at present it is evident to the naked eye the violation of safety of pedestrians. School children, young and old folks, ladies and gentlemen are the most susceptible. They come onto the road to escape the dug up areas endangering their safety. It is a carnage out there.