The authorities in Bengaluru have been on a skywalk spree in the Silicon Valley as many of these over bridges have popped up in several parts of the city, even when there is very little footfall.
Even when most of these are barely used by commuters, the BBMP is still planning to build more inside the city. The skywalks can be seen in places where there are less or rarely any pedestrian traffic.
And these over bridges are not cheap either, every single one of them amounts to crores according to their facilities. Some of the skywalks provide amenities like a lift or an escalator so that the pedestrians don't have to climb up the long uneasy stairs, which are normally 5.5 metres above the ground level.
A few of these structures are not used by the pedestrians as they don't have lifts or escalators and the ones which have such convenience barely works, except in the main areas like Hudson Circle or Orion Mall in Yeshwantpura. The overbridge, which was recently built near Sree Kanteerava stadium (towards Hudson Circle), is a prime example of the authorities' negligence. Even though it features lift facility, it is never on service and its meandering stairs are another struggle.
Sandeep, a college student told International Business Times that he and his friends go to the overbridge near Freedom Park for the view. "As very few pedestrians cross the bridge, there is no one here to trouble us and we can have a peaceful view of the noisy city," he said. An elderly couple who was waiting down the skywalk told that at their age it is a difficult task to climb all those stairs just to cross the road.
A normal sky bridge will have nearly 32-50 steps in its stairs and will take at least 150-200 steps to complete the whole crossing, whereas it roughly takes around 100 steps to cross the road. Due to this most of the pedestrians still, try to cross the busy road without taking the overbridge.
More than pedestrians, it is used by miscreants in some places, where they use the bridge as a place for their anti-social activities like drinking and smoking. Even though the skywalks are monitored by surveillance cameras, it doesn't seem to affect these reprobates.
Not just that some these are unused by the people, they also block the view of some of pristine and heritage sites of Bengaluru. However, even if some of them are utterly useless to the commuters, it has definitely been a boon to the advertising agencies for displaying larger than life hoardings at these places.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has built several skywalks across the city under both the Public-Private- Partnership (PPP) model and Non-PPP model and are still constructing in various areas. The urban experts say that a feasibility study should be carried out rather than building more of these structures as several of these existing skywalks are not unutilised.