With debris on footpaths, there’s no space to walk
Avenue Road, one of Bengaluru’s important commercial areas, is facing twin problems – partially constructed streets and uncleared debris.
Work on the road, planned under the Bengaluru Smart City project, has missed its deadline, causing immense trouble for shop owners and others.
Savita G.L., owner of a jewellery shop on Avenue road, said: “The construction of streets has been ongoing for over one and a half years. There are many accidents involving pedestrians and motorists due to bad roads. The streets are in their worst condition. We shopkeepers decided to cover the potholes with mud.”
Sunil Kumar, owner of a digital photo shop, pointed out that the condition of the streets is responsible for traffic jams. “There are thousands of people and vehicles coming in and going out. Customers cannot walk freely in this area. Roads aren’t in a good condition for vehicles and people to move. During the rainy season, the road is more chaotic than usual. Tar roads were far better. The current cement roads don’t absorb water. It is tough to even step out.”
A constable who regulates traffic on the road said: “The space is not sufficient for the number of people who visit Avenue Road. The cement roads which were constructed under the Smart City project are already torn even before the project is completed. One of the main problems we have at Avenue Road is traffic which can be solved with good roads.”
Srinivas, a regular motorist, said: “It’s a challenge driving through Avenue Road. It is important to have safe roads and footpaths on the road. It is sad there is no proper action from the government on this issue. Motorists and pedestrians are forced to cross water pipelines that lie by the road. Water pipelines have already been damaged in a few places.”
Mercy Andrea, a regular visitor to the road, shared: “I was never able to walk freely on the road. Pedestrians are always forced to walk on the road as footpaths are either encroached by shops or there is some construction on the footpath. The streets of Avenue Road really need to be constructed as soon as possible. I have seen a lot of people and vehicles falling down because of potholes.”
A stationery shop owner who did not want to be named said material used to construct roads has been lying in front of his shop for more than a month, leaving no space for the people to walk on the footpath. He doesn’t get business because of this.
Avenue Road is one of the two important roads that connect K.R. Market with the Majestic area, the other being BVK Iyengar Road.
Umesh, assistant executive engineer of road infrastructure, BBMP, said: “We have passed the project plan to the government. Work on the Avenue Road streets will start as soon as the government gives permission….We expect it to start within two months.”
Previously, BBMP’s market department deputy commissioner Mr. Muralidhar had informed The Observer that the Smart City development project in and around K.R. Market would be completed by the last week of September or early October.