Not So SMART Citizens Park Vehicles on Footpath near Reliance SMART Supermarket in SMART CITY?
Mangaluru : Following close on its heels after Team Mangalorean had published an article” Rs 9 for 1 Kg Sugar! But Did You Read the Fine Print- ‘Offer Only on Shopping of Rs 1499 & Above’? ” in Mangalorean.com dated 15 May 2019, here is yet another civic issue that Team Mangalorean wants to highlight about the not So Smart and Ignorant citizens of Mangaluru, who without using their common sense park their vehicles on the footpath meant for pedestrians, thereby putting them into hardship and safety hazard, forcing them to use the road to walk.
Ever since this new mega supermarket “Reliance Smart opened on Kulur Ferry Road, Chilimbi, near to Urwa Store-Mangaluru, in the month of May 2019, people have been flocking this store like they have never seen a supermarket or been to one. And the rush is so much, because of super deals the store is offering, the footpaths around this store is seen occupied by cars and two-wheelers- and our lovely City traffic cops have turned a blind eye towards it. When there are three towing trucks with the City traffic department, why not make a trip on Chilimbi/Urwa side too- and not the same locations every time, like Bendorewell, Kankanady, Hampankatta and few others.
A employee of More Supermarket, which is just a few meters away from Reliable Smart Supermarket speaking to Team Mangalorean said, “Traffic police always warn us and our customers about parking their vehicles in front of our store, but they are taking it easy with the citizens parking their vehicles at the other store, which is not right. Rules have to be followed for everyone. Even our customers have expressed the discrimination of the police on this issue”. Meanwhile, a customer who heard our conversation, also supported the comments made by the More employee. So, what the police have to say about it?
From time to time we hear MCC officials promises to improve the city, and newspapers report that an effort is to be made to improve footpaths (sidewalks, pavements) to benefit pedestrian movement. But there has been hardly any evidence on the ground of results from either initiative. Any such initiative needs commitment and a well-prepared approach to deal with the large variety of encroachments and misuses that have been allowed to develop. A well-formulated policy is needed to underpin the approach, and commit manpower and resources. The approach has to start with a list of the types of encroachment. Otherwise any effort will deteriorate into a cosmetic effort that leaves the underlying sores untreated.
Apart from increasing “Hawkers” occupying part or whole of the width of the pavement, now we can see a bunch of Vehicles parked. In a City like Mangaluru, it is very common to see vehicles, both two-wheelers and four-wheelers being parked on the pavement/footpath. At times the entire footpath is blocked by these parked vehicles making it impossible for the pedestrians to walk on it. The pedestrians have very little option but to walk on the road thereby putting their lives in danger. At times it appears that the pavements are under siege by parked vehicles as seen in the pics in the report.
Pavements are meant for pedestrians to walk on, even though in many cities/towns a part of the pavement have been earmarked for vehicular parking to tackle the problem of lack of parking space. This does not mean that the entire pavement should be blocked by the parked vehicles. The funny part is that MCC has constructed many footpaths recently under the Smart City project, and most of these footpaths are either been used for parking or street vendors doing their illegal business. And among many other examples of such illegal footpath parking, this one near Reliance Smart adds to the credit of citizens ignorance of illegal parking on walkways.
Allowing vehicle parking (whether two-wheelers or four-wheelers) definitely will lead to harassment to pedestrians sooner or later, and will be hard to regulate. Parking vehicles on the pavement, completely blocking pedestrian passage, is widely prevalent. Hoping this report will come to the notice of Police Commissioner, DCP, ACP and other concerned law enforcement officers, so that they direct the police to take action against those violating the parking rules, and treat violators equally irrespective of businesses or influences.