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Sunday, 1 November 2015

Pointless new footbridge: With no access to Yeshwanthpur station, it’s a skywalk to nowhere

Rs.2 crore has been spent on building the structure, but pedestrains feel that it is a complete waste of resources
Pedestrians in the city hardly ever use the numerous skywalks Bengaluru has to offer, since these skywalks are constructed with little to no planning and often cause inconvenience. A classic example is the upcoming skywalk near Yeshwanthpur railway station.

Two crore rupees has been spent on constructing this skywalk, but pedestrians say it barely serves the purpose — of easing access to the Yeshwanthpur Station, the city's second largest railway station, that records footfalls of thousands of people every day.

The railway platform is just 400 metres away. In fact, a survey conducted by the department of urban land transport last year had recommended construction of a skywalk only if it connected to the station. But all the skywalk, which is in the final stages of completion, does now is connect the ends of the road; but commuters will still have to walk to enter the station.

The department report had stated that the increased movement of pedestrians justified the need of a skywalk at the spot. "Based on the site observations, it is recommended that the proposed skywalk be connected to the existing skywalk inside the Yeshwanthpur railway station premises for the smooth transition of passengers wanting to board the bus/auto on Tumakuru road. The footpath should be widened an additional 1.5 metres in order to provide a continuous walkway to pedestrians and the physically handicapped. The proposed skywalk should have multiple entry and exit paths on either side of the road so as to ensure the commuters to and from the railway station and the Govardhan bus stop can access the skywalk," the report had stated. However, most orders have not been covered while the construction of the skywalk.

Of its two exits, the Tumakuru Road exit is preferred as it gives commuters access towards the city and the Outer Ring Road. Each time commuters cross the road, traffic on the busy Tumakuru Road comes to a standstill and so there was a demand for the skywalk.

"After exiting the bus stand, we need to cross the busy road to reach the Yeshwanthpur Railway Station from the cargo entrance. However, the railways have crossed the cargo entrance. Our only hope was a skywalk that would help us to connect to the station like in Mumbai. This one, however, merely takes us near the cargo entrance which is already blocked. Unfortunately, there is no footpath to take and the road is very narrow. Why would one use a skywalk just to get down at the other side of the road?" asked Ajay Kumar, a techie who often uses the station to board trains.

When contacted, Bengaluru in charge and transport minister Ramalinga Reddy said that he would personally visit the place and 'check the skywalk construction'.

What can be done?

The BBMP and railways need to join hands to connect the foot overbridge to Yeshwanthpur Railway Station so that the passengers taking the skywalk can directly walk to the railway platform of their choice, as is the case in most railway stations at Mumbai. This would ensure that the skywalk is optimally utilised, thus reducing the traffic congestion on Tumakuru Road (currently, the traffic pile-up on the road stretches almost to half kilometre because of the frequent crossing of road).

People cross the road below and then squeeze their way through the railings

Source : Bangalore Mirror , 31st Oct 2015

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