Walking down the footpath should never be a tedious and dangerous ordeal, especially in a city like Bengaluru, where the roads are always filled with fast moving vehicles. Unfortunately, this is not the case on the inner ring road stretch between the Domlur flyover and the Oasis Centre mall near Koramangala.
The road that connects the two areas has rapidly moving traffic on either side of it. The footpaths on both sides are close to the military camps. Cars and other vehicles generally move without stopping on this road.
In this situation, pedestrians find it extremely difficult to walk down the footpaths of this road, because they are practically unusable. The footpaths are littered with garbage almost everywhere, and many people can be found urinating into the thick bushes, trees and weeds growing onto the footpath. There are small drainages alongside the pavements that are also brimming with garbage.
Even with the danger of walking on the road with its fast-moving traffic, there are people who have made this road a place of their work. Anjanamma, who sells water and juices to people from her cart, has stationed her cart on the footpath outside the Dell office. She sells water to approximately 50-80 people a day.
Angelis, who owns a small cart and sells fresh orange juice, keeps moving up and down the stretch of the inner ring road footpath. He claims to get up to 100 customers daily. When asked about the problems he faces, he says, “we are not allowed to throw the orange peels in the gutter, even though there is so much waste flowing through them. The police come and ask me to remove the waste from there.”
As he makes more juice, he stops mid-way, and walks over to a passing police van and gives them some money before returning to his other customers. “I have to give the police Rs 200 every day to be able to sell. It’s a routine exercise,” he responds.
According to one pedestrian, who refused to be named, “I have seen people come from the army training camps and dump waste onto the footpaths. The thermocol and wooden waste that is left unattended comes from there.”
Due to the growing weeds and plants on the broken pavements, many cows and their calves can be seen eating their way through plants and garbage, often also obstructing moving vehicles as they walk across the roads.
The parts of the footpath that are clean, are broken and temporarily fixed with unstable rocks and cement bricks. It is almost impossible to find people walking down this road, and the few pedestrians that are found are immediately picked up by auto rickshaw drivers, a rarity for Bengalureans who would otherwise have to wait long periods for auto rickshaw rides.