Mangaluru: If someone could ask one question as to “Which city in the world has footpath ONLY on one side of the road”? The answer could definitely be “Mangaluru??” And that’s what we are seeing in the prospective “Smart City” Mangaluru, where footpaths are constructed on only one side of the roads/streets. Since DC had directed the City Officials to construct drainage/footpaths within few months time, you can see that many streets in the city have been dug up to make way for new footpaths- and it has been a nightmare for motorists. Only if the concerned authorities or contractors had used their common sense to build footpaths/drainage during the road construction work in the beginning itself-there would have been no need of breaking the roads now to make way for footpaths/drainage.
It’s a pathetic scene out there, and one should be ashamed that a growing city like Mangaluru has to be in that kind of situation. Seems like it is in a state where nobody is taking responsibility and being held accountable with the result that having decent footpaths is of least importance. While pedestrians have been demanding even and continuous footpaths at least along main roads, nobody in the MCC have addressed the issue earlier- and now only after DC has directed that footpaths/drainage should be constructed soon, all our lazy MCC officials have woken up and trying to fix the problems.
It is sad to note that Major roads have not been cared to make pedestrian-friendly footpaths on the roadside. The prime importance on roads is for pedestrians but sadly in our culture, that is missing. Many of the streets have been mauled. The gradient of footpaths should facilitate easy and comfortable walking for the elderly and handicapped, but sadly our footpaths are broken at several points and never help the pedestrians, and many pedestrians are getting hurt due to dilapidated foot path.This shows that that the PWD/MCC has shown utter callousness in constructing a perfect footpath.
For example- Now that a new footpath was constructed on one side of Arya Samaj Road in the city- but the workers have left a unfinished job. Only half of the road has been provided with a new footpath, while rest of the road has broken footpaths or no footpath at all. And as I have noticed none of the pedestrians are using the newly laid pedestrian walk-way, since at many points electric poles are still blocking the way. What a stupid idea to construct a new footpath when electric poles are on the way. Do you expect pedestrians to step down and then climb back on the footpath when obstructed by these electric poles.
And as usual we see cars parked, or debris/garbage thrown on the footpath which leaves no option for the pedestrians to use the road to walk. Even though the new footpath has been laid, people are still seen walking on the road- on opposite side of the new footpath. The reason- the new footpath is not citizen-friendly with safety hazards. Okay you start walking down from the entrance of Balmatta Rd on to the new Arya Samaj Rd footpath- after a few steps a electric pole comes in your way- you will have to step down- then you step back again on the footpath- few steps ahead garbage/construction materials/red stones are blocking your way- you step down again- then you again step up- few steps ahead electric circuit board sits on your way- you step down- you step up again- like these there are many obstructions on this footpath. Now you are fed up…seems like a nice exercise going up and down. Who would bother to use this footpath which creates lots of inconveniences.
All I can say is that the new footpath constructed on Arya Samaj Rd made the contractor and some of the city officials rich, other than that this project is simply a waste of tax payers money.