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Pedestrian Voice - A joint campaign by Swabhimana and Praja

SWABHIMANA  and  PRAJA  are planning to bring together citizens ,stake holders and elected representatives on a common platform to discuss pedestrian related problems in different areas of Bengaluru

PEDESTRIAN VOICE is a campaign to bring to focus problems faced by pedestrians in namma Bengaluru and to find solutions to various issues regarding pedestrian safety and rights has brought together SWABHIMANA and PRAJA to create a platform to enable fruitful discussions on the subject between the citizens and various stake holders.  We believe that with a sustained campaign we can have a better city in the next 2-3 years.


BENGALURU was once called  a pedestrians’ paradise . Footpaths were clear and user friendly.There was no fear of being knocked down by a vehicle and it was a pleasure to walk . Footpaths, though poorly lit, were totally free of encroachments. 

Due to rapid urbanisation and increase in vehicle population foot paths have become  a casuality and neglected. Footpaths have become narrow due to widening of roads  to accomodate vehicles and in some busy areas they don't exist. Poor vision and defective planning on the part of various stake holders has today forced pedestrians on main roads to be exposed to accidents. Bengaluru has a network of 4500 km of roads, 40,000 intersections,about 800 manned and signalised intersections and vehicle population of over 3 millions .The city population is in excess of  6.5 millions. Due to poor traffic management and pedestrian safety concern Bengaluru is amongst top five cities in India in number of road accidents and resulting fatalities. Every year 900 to  1000 people die due to road accidents ,of which about  350 are pedestrians.Thousands of crores of rupees are spent in Hospitalisation,Rehabilitation and Insurance every year .
We need to give the pedestrian his rightful place in the scheme of things.  Pedestrians cause the least amount of congestion on the roads and environmental damage.  In addition walking is one of the most healthful exercises.  Bangalore has been largely blessed with a good climate devoid of extreme weather conditions. 

Objectives of this project

The objectives of this project are 3-fold

a. Ensure pavements exist and are in good shape in the first place. Work with BBMP to identify stretches of pavements (200-300m) where pavements either don't exist or are in bad shape.

b. Minimize encroachments.  We are talking here about cars being parked, poles, etc.  Hawkers are not in scope as agreed between Swabhimana and BBMP.  This is a contentious issue which might simply lead us nowhere.  Work with BBMP and BTP

In the longer term work with elected representatives and BBMP/BTP/BMLTA/BMRCL to evolve a pedestrian friendly approach to town planning.  This will depend on how well the short term project goes.

Swabhimana has already met with BBMP Special Commissioner (Mr.Srikar) and BTP and have been assured of their full support.  Communication attached.

What is expected from Praja members?

a. Swabhimana and some praja members will meet up with authorities, etc

b. What others who cannot participate on the ground can do is to send photographs of footpaths in bad shape/encroached from their respective wards.  Please indicate the ward number/area name, the street name, number (main road/cross road) and some landmarks.  This will make it actionable

Once we have data we will go meet with BBMP.

About Swabhimana

Swabhimana is a platform for like mided groups in Bangalore whose objective is to create a Bengaluru that is clean, green and safe through citizens’ participation.

Founded by Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and the Bangalore City Corporation in 1995 as a “citizen – local government interactive forum”, Swabhimana has over the years evolved into a sustained platform of Non-Government Organisations and Residents Welfare Associations in Bangalore, whose vision is to make Bangalore a Cleaner, greener and a safer place to live. Swabhimana was registered as a Public Trust in April 2002.

Swabhimana (Mr.Ananda Rao, Mr.Shanmukh Patel)

Praja (Shekhar Mittal, Deepak Rajanna, Muralidhar Rao, Srivathsa)


Meeting with SC- BBMP office 25 March 2009[1].doc21 KB
Add[1].Commis traffic.doc43 KB
Reply frm add, traffic.doc263 KB
Naveen's picture

Pedestrian Facilities

Good Initiative - With diminishing sidewalk widths & total neglect of pedestrian facilities, this will hopefully kick-start the efforts in the interest of the public.

sanjayv's picture

Long overdue, Happy to Help

This is a terrific, urgently needed initiative.  I will be really thrilled to participate / help.  My request from the SWABHI MANA and PRAJA  teamis the following.

(a) Please convince BBMP and related authorities to publicize their plans so that people can provide feedback on their plans.  This is a fundamental rule of design - getting user feedback.

(b) I think Praja members can help by picking select areas and geting feedback, trying to convince stake holders etc.  For this plan to be succesful, we have to get the citizens interested and the authorities strictly enforcing ruloes and laws.  Otherwise improved footpaths will simply get encroached.

(c) We also need to find out what the design standards are.  Can we find a compilation of relevant laws, engineering standards etc. available on this website.  Some of the footpaths in this city, need a ladder to climb on to.

(d) we need some sort of realistic time frames attached to such a project.  Some goals for SWABHIMANA and PRAJA respectively to aim for.

Okay, maybe I went too far there :-).  Once again, this is great! You guys can count on me to help the best way I can.


Suresh Bangalore's picture

Roads near the parks to be monitered

This is a very good initiative by Praja and Swabimana. The pavements,  near the parks used for walking should be given top priority. I have seen many Senior citizens coming to the parks in morning and evening. They will have tough time to walk on the roads with out proper pavements. Secondly all the roads near the parks should have designated pedestrian crossing and also should be monitered by traffic police. The roads near the parks should have road humps. Many of the accidents occuring in these areas are due to rash and negligent driving which has resulted in the injuries and death of senior citizens. BBMP and police must take quick action to help the park users. I can name Krishan rao park in  basvanagudi and BBMP park in JP nagar II phase as the ones which need action.





vinay_sreenivasa's picture


Good initiative! we need to do whatever we can to ensure pedestrians can exercise their right to walk safely and comfortably!

>>Hawkers are not in scope as agreed between Swabhimana and BBMP.  This is a >>contentious issue which might simply lead us nowhere

can someone explain this a little? you want hwakers to move out of pavements or you are ok with them being on pavements or you have no views one way or the other?

also - one additional point when discussing pedestrian facilities - its comfortable to walk when there are lot of trees and there is shade. People will find it tough to walk on roads without shade, hence BBMP must be told that by going on cutting trees and concretising footpaths and not allowing new trees, they're making life difficult for pedestrians.

s_yajaman's picture

On hawkers


When Swabhimana met BBMP, they asked Swabhimana to not get into contentious issues for now e.g. eviction of hawkers. 

When Mr.Ananda Rao and some of us met, we decided that we need to have pavements first before hawkers can encroach!!  We agreed that we need to prioritize issues rather than make it an all or nothing project.  And hence for now hawker eviction is not in scope. 

We agree that they are a nuisance at times, but the bigger nuisances are

a. Non existent / broken / incomplete footpaths

b. Cars/bikes parking on footpaths as if it were their birthright to do so.

c. Bikes riding on footpaths when there are traffic jams

d. Buildings/gardens/construction material encroaching on pavements.

Based on my experience in large stretches of Jayanagar and JP Nagar it is these 4 that are bigger culprits than hawkers.



Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

s_yajaman's picture

Help needed - Pedestrain Voice

To all who come here and post, need the following help.

a. Start with the main roads in your area and identify stretches where the footpath is non-existent, broken, encroached.

b. Take pictures (discreetly if needed) and post here.  Please don't confront anyone encroaching the footpath.  We will leave that job to the authorities.

c. When you take pictures, please note down the name/street number/landmarks.  Just pictures won't do.

Once we have collected a lot of them, we will go to the authorities and show them the pictures and ask them for a plan of action.

No promises on what the outcome would be, but to quote Gandhi - "Everything that you do will be insignificant, but it is important that you do it all the same"



Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

s_yajaman's picture

Survey of Brigade Road - Residency Road towards Hosur Road

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