The residents had met Bengaluru Development Minister KJ George in Dec 2015, but no work was done on the ground despite his assurances.

Two deaths in two weeks at Sarjapur Road When will BBMP wake up ask residents
news News Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 09:31

In the last two weeks, at least two people have died in hit and run incidents at the Kaikondrahalli- Sarjapur junction on Sarjapur Road in south-eastern Bengaluru due to poor or non-existing pedestrian facilities. 

Now, yet another incident has occurred at the same spot in front of Purva Sunshine apartment. Whether the victim of the latest incident survived, is not known. 

The first incident occurred on December 18 when a person crossing the road died after being hit by a car. Three days later, another person suffered grievous injuries in a hit and run incident and succumbed on December 31.

This stretch of the road is a major connector to Sarjapur town, Hosur and Electronic City, but residents complain that the public transport infrastructure and pedestrian mobility remain inadequate and have not kept pace with the rapid population growth in recent years.

Shilpi Sahu, a resident of Purva Sunshine apartment complex asked, “Do we have to protest like Bellandur residents now even after two people have died?”

“Walking and crossing the road is a nightmare for residents any time of the day. We need basic safety for pedestrians. When will BBMP wake up? How many young people have to die before any action will be taken?” she said.

Shilpi was referring to the huge human chain of protests led by residents of Bellandur, staying on either side of Outer Ring Road, demanding a skywalk. The demonstrations were triggered by the death of 19-year-old Sanjay Giri who used to work as a security guard at the Akme Harmony apartment complex on that road.

The demonstrations led the MLA and corporator of the area to meet the angry residents, following which the protests were called off. Two weeks later, PC Mohan, MP, intervened in the issue, and now a skywalk is set to be built with CSR funds.

Shilpi said that the accidents occur as pedestrians are forced to use the roads because silt from drains will often occupy the entire pavement or there won’t be any pavements at all.

“Every other day, there are incidents of people falling in the drain or some other type of injury to pedestrians,” Shilpi said. Even unsuspecting drivers have driven their vehicles and fallen into the open drain, she alleged.

She and other residents of the area have been demanding better civic amenities in the area for two years now.

They had met Bengaluru Development Minister KJ George in December 2015, but no work was done on the ground despite his assurances.

The residents are set to meet the minister again on Thursday. 

It was only after the recent deaths that minor works such as zebra crossing have now come up.

“We do not know if this is a government that listens to people. We have been raising this issue for a long time now. These deaths have forced us to join citizen activist groups and make more noise on the issue,” Pradeep, another resident of the apartment complex, told TNM.

He stressed on the need of a speed-breaker at the bend, which creates a blind spot for speeding drivers leading to accidents.

“There are 14 lakh residents living on either side of the road within a stretch of 3-4 kilometres. The zebra crossing won’t help the situation until there are footpaths. As the roads are good, cars usually travel at high speeds and as there is a bend, there is a blind spot which causes these accidents,” he added.

At the time of writing, the Minister KJ George could not be reached for a comment.

Bengaluru Mayor Sampath Raj said, “Work has already begun. I will ask the Joint Commissioner to go the area immediately and listen to the issues people face. I will act immediately on complaints from residents.”

Another resident, Karan, who stays in Kaikondrahalli and passes through the area while travelling to work said, “I have almost met with accidents while walking from home as there is no proper lighting system and in some areas, it is not possible to use footpaths.The situation is worse when it is raining.”

Shilpi said that the issues were raised with the corporator and MLA of the area too but their pleas fell on deaf ears.

“It is not that the MLA, corporator or their party representatives are not aware of it but they have not done anything about it,” Shilpi said.