mid day editorial: MMRDA, don't keep your FOBs in the dark

Feb 14, 2018, 06:15 IST | mid-day online correspondent

Building footbridges was one way to tackle the rise in pedestrian accidents along the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR) the MMRDA thought quite rightly

Building footbridges was one way to tackle the rise in pedestrian accidents along the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR) the MMRDA thought quite rightly. The agency spent over Rs 7 crore to build 12-foot overbridges (FOB), between 2008 and 2012. Nearly 10 years later, a report in this paper cited that FOBs are at the receiving end of the same treatment as our city skywalks, decrepit and neglected.

Visits to FOBs revealed that only some of them could boast of operational lights. Four FOBs between JVLR junction and Poonam Nagar on JVLR were in darkness. Nobody was using them after sunset. It is inexplicable why there are no lights on these FOBs and in fact, this neglect defeats the purpose of building them altogether, which was to enable people to use them and reduce risk of fatalities due to accidents.

Because none of the tube lights work, pedestrians prefer to take huge risks and cross the roads. Their logic is that they are inviting danger by walking in the dark on the FOBs, and crossing the road at least, they think, is less dangerous. Women especially are wary about using these FOBs and locals also stop their women relatives from using them. We need regular checks on skywalks and FOBs. What is the use of spending crores of taxpayers' money on infrastructure and then not stepping up your game, which is ensuring that it is clean, safe, functional and a valuable addition to Mumbai's facilities.

Pedestrians scrape the bottom of the barrel when it comes to amenities in the city. From encroached footpaths and railings that are broken in places, we spare little thought for those who walk on our roads. Lights on FOBs are basic and easiest to fix or change. Let the agency show will and intent to upkeep what they have made for the people.

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