Footpaths to be free of encroachments in Bengaluru

Footpaths to be free of encroachments in Bengaluru

Footpaths to be free of encroachments in Benglauru.  Making footpaths free is an obligation by BBMP.   Illegal footpath encroachment has been narrowing the road, causing inconvenience to motorists and pedestrians.

Everyday we come across a lot of vehicles parked on footpaths and pavements.  Cars and two wheelers are parked on both sides of narrow residential lanes and there is two way movement of traffic and navigating through them. 

It has become a challenge for pedestrians especially those who are handicapped, having physical disability and senior citizens.

High court order on footpath encroachment :

The High Court of Karnataka on 10th June directed the civic body BBMP to file an affidavit within 3 weeks on the steps taken by the authorities to keep footpaths free of encroachment by shop owners.

This affidavit was in the wake of observing the citizens’ rights being affected if footpaths are not maintained in reasonably good condition.  The footpaths must be kept free of encroachments.

Purpose of footpath :

Public streets are made for traffic to move and likewise footpaths are made for the use of citizens for walking.

If the footpaths are encroaches, it will affect the right of citizens.  Footpaths have to be maintained so that citizens are able to walk freely.

Action by Police –  footpath encroachment :

The city traffic police are currently carrying out a week-long drive to clear encroachments of footpaths and make them more pedestrian friendly.

The police aims to ensure that footpaths across the city are free from street vendors, petty shops, illegal parking of vehicles and dumping of construction materials.

Those dumping construction materials like pipes or wires on the footpaths will also have to be careful. The materials will be seized and the offenders will have to pay a penalty to get it cleared.

BBMP unhelpful :

In some areas the traffic police are oblivious of the state of affairs. Despite a clear ruling by the High Court of Karnataka to clear footpath encroachments, the BBMP is not acting tough on the encroachers.

The traffic police have expressed their helplessness as it is the BBMP’s responsibility to clear the encroachment and not that of the police.

The section 288 and 288C of the KMC Act clearly allow the removal of encroachments, either temporary or permanent, on the existing footpaths falling within BBMP’s jurisdictional limits. However, several complaints to jurisdictional Assistant Executive Engineers by citizens have not yielded any results. They pass the buck at each other dodging responsibility.

Conclusion :

There are chances of serious accidents if the issues are not fixed on  road’s footpaths. The BBMP officials and people’s representatives including the Mayor should inspect the busy roads and the footpaths and implement a ‘zero tolerance’ on footpath encroachment. 

500 raised cross walks across Bengaluru :

To ensure safety of pedestrians crossing roads, the civic body BBMP has decided to build more than 500 raised cross walks across Bengaluru city with 15 cm. in height besides bumps.

Infra Boost :

The Traffic Police of Bengaluru city made a presentation demanding raised pedestrian crossings. They will come up on thoroughfare across the city.

The demands of Traffic Police includes :
  1. Pedestrian crossings at 221 locations
  2. Sky-walks/FOB’s at 86 locations
  3. Up-gradation of pedestrian crossings are 213 spots
  4. Relocation of electrical poles at 97 locations and 76 transformers
  5. Amenities at 47 accident black-spots
  6. Solution to water logging at 45 places
  7. Street light functioning at 105 locations

Areas Covered :

The initiative of 500 raised cross walks across Bengaluru City includes facilities along outer ring road, Sarjapur road, Magadi Road and some of the core areas in the city.

The 367 junctions includes facilities like traffic umbrellas, railings information and direction boards, painted cross walks, cameras at important junctions, traffic signage, hazard boards, street lights, removing of trees and widening of roads.

Walkable footpaths

Walkable footpaths are missing in most part of the city.  These are either encroached and used as a parking place for vehicles. 

Lack of walkable footapth

To demand a good footpath people living in and around sarakki and Kanakapura road are taking out a protest on January 19.  This protest is in demand of basic amenities like footpaths and pedestrian crossings.

Bengaluru’s footpaths are pedestrian un-friendly.

Walkable footpaths – Protest  :

Sarakki Signal is infamously called as the second silk board junction because of its traffic jams.   The intersection belongs to four different assembly constituencies – Bengaluru South, Padmanabhanagar, Jayanagar and Bommanahalli.

Riders on footpath

Residents complain that when the footpaths were build ramps were deliberately added so that they can park their vehicles. 

The footpaths are occupied by vehicles.  Walking on the footpath is a difficult task for senior citizens and children.

Walkable footpaths – un-walkable :

In the absence of any standard measure of walkability of a footpath, a footpath is considered walkable if 2 people can walk on it side by side without having to step up on the road.

Encroachment on footpath

In many places, footpaths are absent; in other places, they are encroached upon.  Reflecting the negligence of the civic body, footpaths in the outer zones are very bad compared to inner zones.

Walkable footpaths – nightmare for pedestrians:

Pedestrians are mostly dependent on footpaths and zebra crossings.  There are very few of such thins.  All the skywalks in the city are not in usable condition.  The number of sub-was are also in bad shape.

Nightmare walking on footpath

Pedestrians are nothing short of sitting ducks for speeding and wayward motorists in Bengaluru.  Unsafe and unwalkable pavements force pedestrians on to the road, risking their life and limb.  Bengaluru stands low on the Walkability Index (WI), an indicator of how walker-friendly Bengaluru is.

Walkable footpaths – How can we better it?

If we can build 1 km of footpath a day, in 21 months or say 2 years all streets across Bengaluru will have footpaths.  This might not cost more than 10% of BBMP’s annual budget.

Property tax hike – Bengaluru city

Property tax hike – Bengaluru city

BBMP(Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike)  plans property tax hike – Bengaluru from April 2019.

The hike in the property tax in Bengaluru will be by 25-30%. This is to meet the pressure of taking important new projects by the BBMP.

If the BBMP goes ahead with property tax hike – Bengaluru,  the residential areas will pay 25% more  and commercial areas 30%.  If the coalition government approves and endorses the same, the rates will be coming to effect from 1st April 2019.

The BBMP revenue department has prepared a proposal for the property tax hike – Bengaluru.

BBMP Commissioner confirmed the proposal of property tax hike- Bengaluru by saying “revision of property tax is being done as per the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act.  The Act mandates revision once in 3 years”.

BBMP is struggling to meet the deadline of the on-going projects due to financial problems.

Reasons for opposition to property tax hike – Bengaluru:

The move by BBMP to property tax hike – Bengaluru has irked the residents and property owners.  Many expressed  the city lacks basic infrastructure including good roads.  The garbage and solid waste management is a day to day crisis in the city.

The problems also include poor maintenance of street lights, bad footpaths and no drainage system.

Citizens of Bengaluru say there is no transparency in the system.  Nobody knows how much of revenue is being generated by BBMP through property tax.

Properties which comes under the new BBMP zones are yet to get ‘A’ Khata and do not have even occupancy certificates.  Some of the areas lack basic necessities such as water and sanitation connection.  Without providing these basic facilities BBMP is proposing Property tax hike-Bengaluru.

In some of the BBMP Zones even after paying property tax the areas have been neglected.  The citizens in these areas have seen little or no development in terms of infrastructure and amenities.

When was property tax raised previously?

With a similar aim, property tax  was raised by 20 % for residential building and 25% for non-residential properties in 2016. The civic body can revise the property tax in every 3 years, with a min. of 15% and max. 30% according to the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976.

Some even suggested that the citizens must be able to penalize the BBMP for not performing their duties in the Bengaluru city.

The general opinion is that the property tax hike is unlikely to go ahead in an election year.