Bengaluru: New skywalks fail to generate footfalls

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | ABILASH MARISWAMY
Published Jan 13, 2018, 4:10 am IST
Updated Jan 13, 2018, 4:13 am IST
Some of them obstruct the view of heritage structures BBMP plans to build another 54.
Hoardings at a skywalk near Corporation Circle  (Photo:DC)
 Hoardings at a skywalk near Corporation Circle (Photo:DC)

Bengaluru: Although most skywalks in the city appear to  help only advertisement agencies rather than pedestrians , the authorities are continuing to build them. Poorly planned, some of them may even dwarf heritage structures like the Lady Jehangir Kothari Memorial Hall and the Mahatma Gandhi statue.

The BBMP has already completed the construction of 29 skywalks across the city under both the Public- Private- Partnership model and Non-PPP model. Another 54 skywalks have been approved and are in the process of being built. In addition, the tender process is underway for construction of 34 more skywalks  and the building of 35 others is awaiting the BBMP council’s approval.

 

 Some of the existing PPP model skywalks have already done the damage, obstructing the view of heritage structures in the city. A good example is the huge skywalk running from Mission Road to OTC Road near LIC buildings which is blocking the view of  the Oriental Buildings Houses near Hudson road. Work is also scheduled to begin soon on some of the Central Business District (CBD’s) PPP model skywalks like the one extending from the  RC College compound to the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan campus, Queens Road to Park Temple,  MG Road to the Boulevard and ASC Center to the Police Chowk.

But defending the BBMP’s decision , its chief engineer for road infrastructure, Somashekar, says, 

the location of the skywalks has been  based on a feasibility report. “ We are building them at a height of 5.5 meters in  accordance with IRC guideline. Safety is our first priority . Sometimes 30 seconds isn’t be enough to cross a junction and so  it is important to build skywalks at such places,” he maintains, claiming that they will not  obstruct the view of any heritage structure. “The skywalks are supported by  sleek pillars , which  only obstruct the view partially,” he argues.

But urban expert, V Ravichandar is clear that constructing skywalks inside the city is a bad idea. “Why are pedestrians given lip sympathy and not treated well?” he asks.

Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru




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