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.

Public Interest Litigation (PIL) – White Topping of  Roads

Public Interest Litigation (PIL) – White Topping of Roads

Public Interest Litigation (PIL) – has been filed by a group of citizens who are living in Jayanagar and Basavangudi in High Court against white-topping of roads in the area.

White-topping of roads in Bengaluru :

This Public Interest Litigation (PIL) is against the white-topping of roads in Bengaluru. White-topping has created a havoc by burdening the citizens with escalating traffic and dust problems.

The deadline for white-topping of 94 km roads under 1st phase which is costing Rs.986.64 crore lapsed in July 2018,with only 15% of the work being completed. 

Glitches in the procedure – Public Interest Litigation :

The Bengaluru city is following a flawed method of white-topping roads, as cement is poured wherever there is asphalt.  

During white-topping of roads, only a part of the asphalt layer is being removed and replaced with cement blocks that are thick by 5 inches.  This in turn is making the road level very high.  Ideally they should remove a layer below the asphalt called sub-grade.

The sub-grade needs to be surface-milled so that when concrete is put, one achieves the similar height as before.   Since the cement blocks are thick in size, they are covering the water drains laid out on the sides of the footpath.  Footpaths are at a lower level when compared to the elevated roads.

Problems at Basavangudi due to white topping – Public Interest Litigation filed :

The problems have multiplied recently at Basavangudi due to the white topping.  The residents are unable to take out their vehicles.  The height of the roads has been increased.  Basavangudi is one of the city’s best-planned area.

Motorists, residents complain that after white topping, they are facing more problems than what it was before.  It has become a nightmare to motorists due to the mess created by BBMP.

Due to the increased height of the roads in Basavangudi, it is causing flooding.  Whenever it rains the water along with garbage enters the houses.  After the white topping done, the BBMP has forgotten to remove the construction debris.

Some of the roads at Basavangudi has turned into one-way after white-topping.  This has contributed to a reduction in the business for the traders.

Woes of the residents:

Traffic jam has become a major problem.  Sometimes parking a car is a big problem.  The wheel gets stuck between the road and the footpath.  For two-wheelers, they can easily slip and fall.  No warning signs are placed anywhere to indicate where the white topping road is being laid in some areas.

Public money at stake – Public interest litigation :

Many roads that are being white-topped are those roads that were either recently tarred or were in good condition.  So the concreting of these roads is simply waste of resources.

The selection of the roads that requires white-topping should be taken locally at the ward level.  As people in the ward are more aware of the condition of a particular road and whether or not it requires white-topping.

white topping road

Those roads which are white-topped lack a sufficient utility duct.  This shows the government’s involvement in building good roads.

What is missing from white topped roads are uniform vehicle lanes, wide footpaths and the entire road geometry.

Citizen’s seeking High Court Intervention :

A group of citizens residing in Jayanagar and Basavangudi has moved the High Court intervention against road white-topping project.  They want to stop work between Madhavan Park and Nagasandra Cricle.

According to the residents of the area the roads marked for white topping is in perfect condition without potholes or any damages.  The work has started 3 weeks back in the above mentioned stretch.  The footpaths are full with pipes. 

According to the residents the water and sanitary lines have not been shifted.  The work has been allotted to a Hyderabad company.  The workers have no idea about the utility pipes lying beneath the road.

Cauvery water pipes –  Public Interest Litigation :

T he Cauvery water pipes beneath the road in this area carry water to many parts of the city.  The water supply is to the eastern parts of Bengaluru and also to the places like NIMHANS,  Ejipura, Jayanagar, Double Road and Siddapura.  These pipes are more than 25 years old and shifting them is a major task.

Any damage to the pipe while shifting will affect water supply to lakhs of people .  there is also the lack of co-ordination between the BWSSB and BBMP. 

Disruption to common man :

The Senior citizens are most affected by the white-topping.  The contractors keep raising the level of the road every time the work is taken and this has increased the road height and is a cause to flooding. 

Materials required for white-topping is dumped on the footpaths, forcing pedestrians to walk on the road.  Large pipes are blocking the footpaths.

The road after the topping has become too high.   The residents are unable to take out their vehicles.  The height of the roads has been increased.  Basavangudi is one of the city’s best-planned area.

Motorists, residents complain that after white topping, they are facing more problems than what it was before.  It has become a nightmare to motorists due to the mess created by BBMP.

According to a citizens,”the height of the road will increase and citizens will suffer as water and dirt will enter their homes.  It is unscientifically being done because water and sanitary line should be placed at a distance, here, the workers have no idea”.

Burden to citizens :

The white-topping of roads in Bengaluru has created havoc by overly burdening citizens with increasing traffic and dust problems.   The white topping of 94 km roads which falls under phase 1 costing Rs.986.64 crore lapsed in July 2018.

The  completed work is only 20%.  Despite the phase 1 pending work, the BBMP has floated tenders for an another stretch of 63.25 km under phase 2.  This has increased the enduring of traffic jam to the citizens.

The city is following a flawed method of white topping roads, as concrete is being poured wherever there is asphalt.  While white topping of roads, a part of the asphalt layer is removed and replaced with cement blocks that are 5 inches thick.  This is making the level of the road much higher.

Other areas to be covered under white topping :

Some of the main roads that will be white topped under phase 2 includes the Central Business District, heavily populated Jayanagar Shopping complex and surrounding areas, East end road, Koramangala, Wilson Garden, Gandhi Bazaaar, Madhavan Parrk to Hosur road stretch.

With the ongoing metro construction, the white topping of roads is adding the traffic mess in Bengaluru causing distress and a lot of problem to the citizens.

Loss of Greenery – Public Interest Litigation :

One of the main reasons for the residents to file the Public Interest Litigation is that white-topping will result in the loss of 14 fully grown trees on the marked stretch.

According to the Chairman of BWSSB, shifting of underground sewage lines is a big challenge before them.  The sewage lines are at a depth and are big in diameter. 

The pipes go by the gravity flow so to maintain that flow, the pipes have to be cut deeper at some of the points and that is really a time consuming work.

There should be co-ordination between BBMP and BWSSP while replacing and shifting of underground  pipelines.

White Topping roads – a project taken over by BBMP is posing problems and a nightmare to the citizens in the city.

Status of the Public Interest Litigation case :

The High Court has issued a notice to the civic body of the city BBMP Standing Council for their response to the Public Interest Litigation.

Potholes to be filled by BBMP by smart-fix mechanism

Potholes to be filled by BBMP by smart-fix mechanism

Potholes to be filled by BBMP using Smart-fix mechanism

Potholes in Bengaluru to be filled by BBMP using smart-fix mechanism according to the Karnataka High court directive.

This came just after the Karnataka High Court came down heavily on BBMP over the problem of city’s potholes.  The Mahadevpura Zone is where the highest number of potholes remain at approximately at 740.

The Supreme Court took note of the bad road conditions and stated the situation is frightening when a total of f 3,597 lives were lost due to potholes in the country.

Due to filling of potholes during day time on major stretches traffic jam  are presenting a major problem.

Pavement Condition Index :

The BBMP is planning to introduce Pavement Condition Index (PCI) in the city.  It is an automated machine learning mechanism which identifies the roads with potholes to be filled in.

A preliminary inspection will be conducted by a camera-mounted-vehicle.  The vehicles identifies the Potholes to to be filled in and marking of the pothole is done through GPS.  The information about the site of the pothole will be informed to the concerned contractors who will in turn fix the potholes.

Smart-fix mechanism to fill potholes:

This smart-fix mechanism software keeps a record of all the data collected regarding the identification of the pothole.  The information includes the location, the timeline, status and the work update.

This whole process of pothole filling work will be monitored and be updated.  A pilot project is being introduced in the East Zone of Bengaluru. If the pilot project works satisfactorily, the entire city of Bengaluru will be covered.

Bengaluru city being a metropolitan will have continuous complaints and problems about potholes.  By using the smart-fix mechanism,  identification of the pothole will be easier.  This also helps in knowing the reasons for reappearance of pothole shortly after filling.

Bad Maintenance of roads are a great concern for common man.  A lot of commuters are suffering from severe back ache due to potholes.

Opinion :

The High Court’s interference and directive to BBMP in itself indicates the seriousness of the problem.  The Court is anguished that even after so many strict directives the BBMP is failing to do the needful.  According to Court, pot hole filling is not a heroic act but the BBMP’s basic duty.

Citizens of Bengaluru are of the opinion that the solution should be long-lasting.  What we need is a time lasting, long-term solution put in place.

 

Namma Bengaluru is 95% garbage free –  tells BBMP

Namma Bengaluru is 95% garbage free – tells BBMP

Another promise by BBMP not fully fulfilled.  Still garbage is not cleared completely from the city.  The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has now missed the October 31 deadline to make Bengaluru garbage-free.  The High Court has asked the BBMP to clear the garbage in the city by Deepavali.

On 29th October, the High Court set a deadline once again asking the BBMP to ensure that namma Bengaluru streets be garbage free by the end of the month.  Now the deadline has been extended to Deepavali.

The BBMP has promised the High Court that the garbage will not be piled up for more than 24 hours in any wards.  Citizens who litter the streets will be booked under the law.

The BBMP body also said that there were several spots where people continued to dump garbage despite all the necessary measures being taken to collect and dispose of garbage.  However the civic body said  95 per cent of the city is clean and the rest would be cleaned in forty eight hours.

The court asked the state to use CCTV cameras and the beat police to identify those defacing the city by littering. The Court is of the opinion that  the city can have a joyful Deepavali when it is garbage-free, while asking the state to take up the issue of garbage in the coordination committee chaired by the chief secretary.

The system of garbage collection requires far more than a ‘Do it now’ order and a deadline to go with it.  It requires doggedness from the court to follow-up the case and an equal response from the civil bodies to fix the situation on-ground and lay down plans for the future.

As citizens of the city the responsibility also lies with us.  Let us co-operate with BBMP and make namma Bengaluru garbage free city.