Udupi: Wanted - Some space for the foot, please!
Pics: Umesh Marpalli
Daijiworld Media Network - Udupi (SM)
Udupi, Apr 10: There are footpaths in the district, but peculiarly, they are hardly available for pedestrians but are used for various other reasons such as parking or for setting up petty shops. Hawkers also occupy the little space, and the state of the footpath prevents people from using it.
Any free space on the footpath seems like an invite for beggars to encroach upon for their business, especially near bus stands and bus stops. Most of the time, pedestrians are forced to jaywalk and dodge vehicles to survive.
The absence of appropriate zebra crossings in the city is a menace to the pedestrians. For example, when vehicles wait at a traffic signal, they tend to stop over the pedestrian crossing instead of before it which in turn leads to accidents.
It has been seen that the government spends crores of rupees on road development but they are ignoring basic facilities such as safety for pedestrians which includes better footpaths and road crossings.
Devraj, a government official, speaking to Daijiworld said, “It is not just about vendors carrying out their business on footpaths, even the public are to be blamed for creating a mess on the roads.”
Lalitha, who works with a private organization, said, “People tend to park their bikes on the footpath and the police have not taken any action in such instances.”
Ganesh Barkoor, a chartered accountant, said, “Governments impose tax on people to invest the money collected for the benefit of the people. So, they should naturally consider projects that provide the maximum benefit.”
“To them, a good city is measured by wide roads, not footpaths. They are not concerned with the safety of the community,” he added.
Gangamma, from Bijapur, said that concern should be shown at least near government hospitals and surrounding area.
“They should have proper footpath facility. My daughter is admitted at the government hospital near CMC. I was about to slip and fall on the road as the difference between footpath and the road is so high and I was in a hurry to get food and medicines,” she added.
Many of the people said that some of the slabs that are broken must be replaced to create a better walking path. They said that people’s representatives never forget to make promises but most of the times forget to keep their promise.
The people also opined that along with mandatory, broad, and clean footpaths stricter application of traffic laws is needed to ensure that zebra crossings and footpaths are used for pedestrians and hence prevent jaywalking.
However, all said and done, now with the election code of conduct in place, people of Udupi will have to wait for at least a month or two to have their demands fulfilled, if at all.