Seeking citizen input to the PIL

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Pedestrian Infrastructure

Related to the WP 13731/2013 Requesting citizens to read thru the affiidavit posted in parts below

BBMP affidavit 22/9/14 Cover page


This has been submitted by BBMP in which they claim to have removed obstructions and provide your comment as to wether the specified footpath is walkable or not. You can provide as comments to this blog your opinion on the footpath/crossing and attach pictures if you wish. Please reference the road as provided in the affidavit.


FALSE claims in BBMP affidavit

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Per the affidavit submitted 22/9/14 WRT to the WP 13731/2013 under the "Statement showing status of footpaths - Encroachments/Obstructions Pertaining to Hebbal division/constituency in the jurisdiction of east zone" for the sl numbers 1 & 2 under ward 18 and sl numbers 2 to 5 under ward 19

1. It is stated in column 6 that the footpaths are not unscientific. This is FALSE. The footpath do not conform to IRC standards. Some places doesnt even have a footpath and people have to walk on the road. 

2. It states in column 11 that footpaths are available which is FALSE below is a picture form the road which shows no footpath at all.

3. It is stated that only 9 obstructions in ward 18 and 11 obstructions in ward 19 remain. This is also FALSE. The footpath is absolutely unwalkable and the obstructions are multiples of the number stated.

In Sahakar Nagar main road, except putting slabs, nothing done

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BBMP has cleaned footpaths which were existing but not reoved even inch of encroachment on footp paths in Sahakar Nagara Main Road.

Even the BBMP office gate in Battrayanapur is itself blocking  footpatha  and all two wheelers are parked in next to BBP office on footpath levaing no space for pedestrians.

So when this is happening  infront of BBMP office inspite of having no parking board.

That means  BBMP and Traffic police both support such things.

Looking others to share their observations has BBMP really removed encroachments

Ward 10 .... BBMP has given wrong information in the Affidavit??

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In the Affidavit for Yelahanka Zone for Ward 10 BBMP has mentioned that there is a footpath of width 1.5 mts along the stretch of 2 kms from Adiga's Hotel, Vidyaranyapura till Doddabommasandra Arch. It is very clear that BBMP has given wrong information as more than half of this stretch is devoid of footpath.

BBMP has also mentioned that it has identified 31 encroachments, removed 19 of them and the remaining 12 will be removed by 30th September, 2014. Whereas the truth is that BBMP has not removed a single encroachment along this 2 km stretch.




Goal Post moved..!

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I had made the mistake of not checking the latest affidavit (dated 22/9/14) before going on my photo survey of Millers Road. I went by the declaration in the earlier affidavit and covered about a km of Millers Road from Thimmiah Road to Sankey Road. There were 7 clear impediments to walking on the footpath.

I now notice that BBMP has moved the goal post for this road. Instead of covering the entire 1 km, they are now covering a small stretch between Thimmiah Road and 8th Main Road (Vasanth Nagar). They claim this stretch is 0.6 km whereas on Google Earth this measures out to about 200 meters. It looks like BBMP has cherry picked the cleaner stretches of roads that are already free of obstacles. That said, there are a couple of obstructions even on the shortened stretch!

False claim!

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In the affidavit for Bommanahalli zone for ward number 193 and 192 BBMP claims they have removed 15 obstructions. But the fact is they have not even moved a small pebble aside. The sorry state of affairs continue. Since I'm out of station I'm unable to take pictures. Will do attach them once I get back. When they say there is no foot path, that much is very ture. There is no foot path at all, all along this road.


Request other citizens to share their observations

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Request citizens of Bangalore please share your observations on BBMP false actions and we need to nail them.

BBMP Affidavit and Ward 85 on Oct 11

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The new affidavit dated 22/9 has many differences from the previous affidavit.  The road lengths are different, the footpath widths are different.  Overall, comes across as a very inconsistent story.  Highly disappointing, but not surprising.  In Ward 85, here are some examples of problem areas which contradicts the affidavit.  All photos taken on 11 Oct 2014 by me.

Near Kundalahalli gate - on HAL-Varthur road, there is a very busy bus stop with no footpath. There are also deep drains into whicvh people have actually fallen and been hurt. Clearly in image below, people have no safe place to walk.

Citizens got fruistrated and the group worked with various stakeholders to install some slabs for a short stretch


But it shortly ends and we are back to no footpath


The condition on the other side of the road is worse.

See footpath disappearing at karunashraya and the pathetic footpath ahead. See the guy negotiating the road near karunashraya?

Now see the fotpath just after Karunashraya

There are many more examples, which I can keep posting.  These footpaths have pretty much been like this for the past several years.  There are many more examples of unwalkable footpaths.  BBMPs affidavits are inconsistent and flawed.

As a parting picture, here is the glorious "footpath" where the risk of falling into a deep drain is huge.


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PIL team meeting tomorrow Thursday Oct 23 @ 11:00 AM

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The regular Thursday meeting will be held at AKS Law Associates' conference room W-202, Sunrise Chambers, 22 Ulsoor Road. Please call VVR at 99808 35297 for more information.

The regular Thursday meeting

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The regular Thursday meeting will be held today Oct 30 at AKS Law Associates' conference room W-202, Sunrise Chambers, 22 Ulsoor Road. Please call VVR at 99808 35297 if you need more information.

PILeffect in Vasanth Nagar?

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As I walked on Vasanth Nagar 8th main on a shopping errand, I saw workers demolishing unauthorized encroachments on the footpath on one side (south side) of the road. It is going to be interesting to see whether the extensions reappear, Some of the shops had generously borrowed space from the footpath to erect stairs since their floors are at about 2 feet above street level. Not sure how they will provide easy access now without some reconfiguration. Can't wait to see jugaad in action!

my album

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I have been maintaining this album of typical footpath obstructions from '05 - I doubt things have changed one bit. 
Added 3 pictures recently. I wonder if this can be presented to the court.
Muralidhar Rao

Act against lax officers, HC to BBMP

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The High Court on Wednesday directed the Commissioner, BBMP, to initiate action against officials who have failed to clear encroachment of footpath adjoining Yeshwanthpur railway station. 

During the hearing of a petition seeking to evict encroachment of footpath near Yeshwanthpur railway station, the division bench comprising Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice R B Budhihal questioned the BBMP commissioner, why no action has been taken against the authority concerned who failed to clear encroachment even after seven years of filing the petition.

The bench directed the commissioner to issue show cause notice to the officials concerned and seek an explanation. “If there is any dereliction of duty on the part of the officials, suspend them,” the chief justice said.

In connection with the petition by the Namma Bangalore Foundation and a fresh petition by City-based advocate G R Mohan, seeking action against officials responsible for death of a six-year-old girl, the bench expressed its displeasure over the pace of investigation and for not finding the mention of the officials responsible for the death of the child.


when will the officers stand up and act ???  Do the MLAs, Corporators feel good about these remarks and  the way city has been going thru on footpath, garbage, water clogging, pollution.

“Are your officers blind?” HC asks BBMP commissioner

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Are all your engineers and officers blind? the Karnataka High Court posed this question to Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner M. Lakshminarayana on Wednesday.

The question was placed by the court after a series of photographs were presented to it showing various structures that were illegally encroaching footpaths in the city. The photos were placed in front of the court which was hearing Public Interest Litigations about poor conditions of footpaths in Bengaluru.

Following the commissioner’s assurance that he would initiate action against erring officials, the Court asked him to submit a report on such disciplinary action taken in such cases.

Summary of the HC hearing on Nov 5

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This is a report from the hearing of our PIL. It also covers a few other cases that are relevant to our case as well. If you are only interested in WP 13731/2013 (our pedestrian PIL), jump to point # 7 below.
  1. Today’s hearing started on the dot at 10:30 PM and literally seconds later the first case of the day came up. One is struck by how businesslike the proceedings are.
  1.  (After a couple of cases were disposed off, the court took up the case against BBMP for dereliction of duty in clearing garbage in Wards 37 (Yeshwanthapura) and 45 (Malleswaram), especially the market areas in these wards. Even though it is not directly related to our PIL I will comment on this case parenthetically because of a common thread, namely BBMP’s complete abdication of duty and a tendency to deflect responsibility to others as well as the subpoena to the Commissioner of BBMP to appear before the court. The Commissioner was also joined by a couple of junior officials responsible for these wards.  This case is remarkable in that the court has issued repeated orders over SEVEN years to BBMP to clean up the mess. Today, the BENCH hauled the commissioner over the coals for his inaction, questioned him on the contract to a private party for clearing garbage and the liability for their failure to perform the duties in the contract. More significantly, the BENCH ordered the Commissioner to withhold the wages of the responsible officials until the mess was cleaned up)
  1. Our PIL came up next along with three other petitions that have been clubbed with ours. One of these cases relates to the tragic drowning death of an 8-year old girl, Geethalakshmi filed by NBF.
  1. The court first heard the NBF case first. The session did not kick off well for BBMP with the BENCH being quite upset that BBMP had not designated an advocate to appear for it in this case at the previous hearing. Their counsel Mr. Narasimhan who had appeared for them in our PIL had maintained that he was not prepared to represent BBMP in the NBF case. It was clear that the tone for the rest of the session was set and it was going to be a harrowing experience for the BBMP chief. At one stage during the BENCH’s angry remarks, the young counsel who was representing BBMP stood up to make a point and was told in no uncertain terms to sit down and not speak.
  1. The BENCH asked the Commissioner if he and his officers are unable to see the “death traps” on the streets. The BENCH showed the Commissioner photographs and the BBMP chief mentioned that there were a “few places” where footpaths and drain covers have to be repaired. The BENCH asked if any official in BBMP is being held responsible for the death and the response was that an Asst. Exec. Engineer has been suspended and a Junior Engineer was sent back to his parent organization, PWD. The BENCH then asked if a FIR has been filed and in whose name. There was some obfuscation at this point and the police officer who is investigating also appeared. Evidently, the AEE and the JE were arrested and released on bail and that investigations are on-going.
  1. The BBMP chief at this point talked about how the drain cleaning work was handled through a chain of contractors and sub contractors (essentially passing the buck) from BBMP through Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Ltd to their sub-contractor.
  1. WP 13731 (our PIL) is heard at this point. The BBMP chief starts the by now familiar tactic of pointing to obstructions created by street vendors and how his hands are now tied because of the new Street Vendors Act 2014 passed by the supreme court. The BENCH then goes through a 10-minute tutorial on this for his benefit (Have you read the act? What provisions have you made for hawkers? Have you declared any norms for the city to accommodate street vendors?  etc.)  Once again the Chief of BBMP tries to disown any responsibility by saying that the state government needs to act. After telling the chief that he should, like a literate person he is, read the act in its entirety and start acting on it. And then this nugget from BENCH – “The law (Street Vendor Act) is NOT coming in the way of maintaining footpaths”!
  1. This is followed by a an exchange which I feel is hard to summarize and so I reproduce as much of it as I can remember:

              BBMP Chief: We will submit all the information on footpath conditions.

Counsel for the drains PIL: Here are the photographs of drains and footpaths that BBMP claim to have been repaired.

              BENCH: Mr. Commissioner, can you not see the state of the drains and                       footpaths? Do you have the guts to suspend officers for dereliction of duties?               If you can’t do this, we will issue orders.

Counsel for PIL: Permanent structures have come up on footpaths and they should be demolished under rule 282 (check on this, I am not sure about the specifics)

BENCH to BBMP Chief: There is complete lawlessness under your authority.

               Counsel for PIL: We need a (third party) committee to oversee BBMP

BENCH: If we start doing their work, what will officials of BBMP do?

BBMP Chief: We will appoint a high-level officer to oversee progress.

               BENCH: You have to dismiss officers not appoint them, and don’t do it in the                name of the court.

BBMP Chief: We will take action.

BENCH: You will have to show progress.

Counsel for PIL: BBMP will have to record progress on a spreadsheet and we will follow up and assist the court.

BENCH to BBMP Chief: Do not keep passing the buck. Have you visited any other country? Have you seen any place outside India where the conditions are this pathetic?

Counsel for PIL: A bigger issue is that the tenure of a BBMP Chief is only two years.

BENCH: There have been municipal commissioners in the country who have cleaned up cities in far less time. A good commissioner can repair an entire road overnight.

The hearing ended on this optimistic note. The next hearing is set for November 25.

Additional report on the hearing by Shaila Prabhu of Talkthewalk

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Some interesting questions that the bench asked the Commissioner and a few statements that it made ....

1. Public pay tax and your wages are paid from that. Are you loyal to your Paymasters?
2. You are performing Public duties or running business?
3. You are paid for 'being blind?'. Why Public should pay for such an institution?
4. Are you superior or inferior to your officers? If you are superior, have you exercised your superiority and taken action against your officers?
5. Why your officers should continue in service and get their wages if they do not even know their duties?
6. About construction materials on footpath - 'Without the knowledge and blessings of your engineers and officers this can not happen.
7. 50% of the officers are good but they are not allowed to work.

KRV's flagpoles

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Unmindful of the goings on in the court, here's a picture of a facelift exercise for a flagpole pedestal, bang on the footpath on Bull Temple road, in the name of Rajyotsava.
More on the politics pertaining to that, and on how the DMK decided to abandon that practice in Chennai, is accessible here
Muralidhar Rao

album showing typical violations

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Have published a new album (accessible here) with pictures featuring typical footpath encroachments/ violations/ safety issues.
Propose to print hard copies to present to the bench. 
Muralidhar Rao

Indiranagar set of pictures

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Set of pictures pertaining to Indiranagar, submitted to the court on the 11th Dec, may be accessed here. In fact, nothing has changed in any of these places.

Muralidhar Rao

on-going encroachment

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Even as this temple has encroached more than three-quarter width of the footpath on one side, and the entire width of the footpath on the other side (see the first picture), its benefactors are now in the process of erecting a concrete arch at the junction of the lane leading to the temple, and the Indiranagar 100 ft main road. This is even as the court has been directing the BBMP to clear all the footpaths of all the obstructions.

In effect, the entire area is sought to be kind of cordoned off by the temple, and its hangers on, proving a great hindrance to the movement of hundreds of disabled children attending the Spastics Society school, down the road.

Muralidhar Rao

Thanks Murali for posting

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These are common situation in Bangalore and BBMP officials are blind to these like BAT bird which goes by sound only.

Doopanahalli jn - a pedestrian's nightmare

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View across the road, showing the arch on that side

While I had compiled an album of pictures highlighting typical footpath encroachments/ violations/ safety issues (check my post of 4th Dec '14, by scrolling above), I had not quite expected that it'll reach the proportions it has currently, at the Doopanahalli junction, right on the Indiranagar 100 ft road (often referred to as Bengaluru's answer to London's Oxford Street). With the footpath obstructed in multiple ways, and the road-sides invariably blocked by a clutter of auto-rickshaws, the pedestrians have nowhere to go other than the centre of the road (this has not quite showed up in the pictures, their having been taken on a Sunday), leading to the junction being a traffic bottleneck, forever.

Now, amongst the biggest impediments to free flow of traffic at road junctions are invariably the auto-rickshaws parked there. Traffic police knows this, and their Cheeta's and Hoysala's generally keep clearing them whenever they come by on their rounds. So, what do the auto-rickshaw lot do? Simple - put up a crimson/ yellow flag-pole pedestal, and voila, no traffic police will ever bother you!

An "auto-rickshaw adda" thus gets formed, and, if there's a temple nearby, it is then immediately followed by the erection of arches (of course to propiate the deity) usurping of whatever remains of the footpath, by a string of shops, in line with the arch pillars.

Doopanahally being on my regular route, it drew my attention. But, I am sure similar must be the case across other parts of the city too.

Now, even as the PIL for improved pedstrian facilitation was being heard in the High Court, I had tried to draw the attention of the senior traffic officials (as also the Commissioner) to the then on-going temple arch erection at the other end of the Indiranagar 100 ft road (check my post of 20th Dec,'14), but all in vain. Now that it is beginning to go beyond all limits, will the traffic police decide to act?

Muralidhar Rao

court directed administration

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The high court on Monday directed BBMP not to construct any more arches on Bengaluru roads and hinder traffic movement. - - -The petitioner, who said construction of two arches in her area has led to traffic congestion, said there are over 500 such arches built across the city.

For the full text of the report in the ToI, click here.

Between the BBMP and the Traffic police (who readily admitted to it being part of their job - check here), can they at least now get down to the job?

And, it's not just arches - the court had also directed the BBMP to remove all kinds of obstructions, hazards, encroachments from the footpaths, in earlier PIL, which is what this blog is all about. Browsing through the same, one can access any number of pictures (as also albums of pictures) typical of the kind of problems a pedestrian faces on a daily basis.

It'll be a shame if the citizens have to go back to the High Court complaining of contempt of its orders.

Muralidhar Rao

Footpaths along Bannerghtta Road

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The footpaths along BG Road are not walkable

Isn't there a severe penalty on BBMP for lying in Court as the many photograps wrt other footpaths show? comment guidelines

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