Many residents of Bellandur living on either side of the Outer Ring Road can finally feel safe while crossing the signal-free corridor, as the long-awaited skywalk is finally ready, after a wait of 10 long months. The skywalk has been named after the 2017 road accident victim, 19-year-old security guard Sanjay Giri. It connects Akme Harmony on one side and Cloudnine Hospital on the other side.
In December 2017, hundreds of residents took to the streets in Bengaluruâ€™s IT corridor, demanding a skywalk in the wake of a road accident that killed Sanjay Giri, a 19-year-old security guard working in the area. While the residents have been demanding a skywalk from the corporator and the MLA from a long time, Sanjayâ€™s death triggered a protest of a large scale.
After much deliberations with various authorities, the skywalk, which has been named Sanjay Giri Skywalk, was commissioned; however, only after the intervention of MP PC Mohan.
Although, the MP promised it will be fully functional and ready to use in three months, locals have already started using the skywalk, since Wednesday.
According to locals, before the skywalk came up, seven major accidents have taken place and two persons have died in and around the same spot where Sanjay was killed by a speeding car. The nearest skywalk from the place is more than a kilometre away.
â€śThe skywalk is not ready yet; but we have started using it as we are tired and desperate to use. It is extremely dangerous to cross the road otherwise. We want the works to get over as soon as possible,â€ť Kishori, member of civic group Bellandur Jothege, which pursued the project,said.
â€śEven the access to the stairs are dangerous as there is a pit on the footpath on the way to the stairs. While the main frame and the stairs are put in place, Kishori said facilities such as cladding, roof and lifts are yet to be in place. So, people with disablities and senior citizens cannot just use it yet,â€ť she added.
In a video tweeted by Bellandur Jothege, resident Aparna is heard saying, â€śMy office is in Koramangala and every day I had to cross this road. It was dangerous to cross as you have to look out for cars and cross. As there is no signal, there is no other way to cross safely and there were instances when I was about to be hit by a car. I was waiting for this (skywalk) to be open.â€ť
— BellandurJothege (@BellandurJothge) October 19, 2018
Concepted in 1996, the signal-free ORR stretch was hardly inhabited but now it is home to multiple tech parks and large apartment complexes and other commercial establishments. This necessitates skywalks or underpasses along the whole stretch. The BBMP has, however, been ignoring the issue for a long time. While it cites lack of funds for building skywalks in ORR, the civic body is keen on putting skywalks in central business districts despite opposition from the public.
In fact, the only other skywalk near Akme Harmony is the one in EcoSpace, which was built using CSR funds. Even though this flyover was built with no government money, it was entangled in bureaucratic red tape. First, it was the BBMP Council, which finally sanctioned the proposal in March and, then later, the Election Commission halted the project, citing model code of conduct.