Hyderabad: Many people, especially those who have a sedentary life like IT employees, look forward to their evening walk or the brisk walk to buy fruits, vegetables or groceries.
Obviously, they do not want to take out their cars. Some even want to walk to the office nearby. This simple desire cannot be fulfilled. For, in many posh areas like Madhapur, Hitec City, Kondapur and Kothaguda, which are the IT hubs, there are no footpaths at many places. Where the footpaths are there, they are simply user-unfriendly.
There are 400-km accumulated length of bitumen and cement roads in Serilingampally-I and II circles, which houses the IT corridor but the length of footpaths is less than 30 per cent of the length of the roads.
Pradeep Gadicherla, a software professional from CA Technologies, said that as the head of the environment division of Social Corporate Responsibility (CSR) of the ITsAP organisation, his group is trying to promote the cause of using public transport among the techies working in the 130-odd IT and ITES companies.
“We want all employees to keep their cars at home and travel to office by public transport one day in the month. It can be any day in the month. But for this to happen, we need to have proper footpaths for them to walk on,” Pradeep said.
Velaga Srinivas, Associate vice-president, Polaris, has been fighting against encroachments of roads, footpaths, parks and other public places. “In Cyberabad, we need user-friendly footpaths with benches to relax at the end every furlong. There are no route maps displayed at bus stops. The bus shelters seem to have been allotted to agencies for display advertisements rather than providing seating and shelter to the people,” he said.
G. Anjan Reddy, landscape architect, Madhapur, said that the few available footpaths are occupied by hawkers, vendors, electric poles, bus shelters and transformers. “In any case, the foot paths are narrow, devoid of avenue trees, proper paving and maintenance.
There is also the issue of lack of public conveniences at appropriate locations because of which people urinate and make the footpaths dirty, thus discouraging pedestrians from using the footpath,” he said.
Anjan Reddy also said that foot paths must be well laid, with sufficient width to walk, good flooring patterns, signage, appropriate street furniture, and avenue trees. It is important to have hawkers but the activity should be well-organised with hawker stalls, public conveniences at appropriate locations and proper illumination, he said.
GHMC engineer-in-chief, Dhan Singh admitted there was a lack of facilities for pedestrians but said the process to lay proper footpaths and improve bus shelters were set in motion.