Two years after its inauguration, the city’s first foot over-bridge (FOB) has become non-functional. The steel bridge at Jyoti Talkies Crossing in MP Nagar was constructed at a cost of Rs 2 crore in April 2013.
It was fitted with electronic escalators for the convenience of citizens. The entrance gates of the escalators were locked two months ago, after several people met with accidents due to technical glitches.
Moving handrails, an important safety measure which helps users keep up with the speed of the escalator, were not functioning for the past few months.
This has led to several accidents in recent times.
A local vendor Ganesh Bairagi said: "At least 100 people met with accidents due to this technical flaw. Most of the time, we used to save them from falling from the escalators. After rampant accidents, when we lodged a complaint, they closed it down, instead of rectifying the problem. Now, nobody bothers to use the FOB."
Another local shopkeeper, who did not want to be named, said: "When the first FOB was inaugurated, the then urban administration minister Babulal Gaur announced the construction of 11 FOBs in two phases. The civic body is yet to construct FOBs at Jyoti Talkies, number 10 market, Bairagarh, Bhopal Talkies, Roshanpura Square, Habibganj railway station and TT Nagar. But after seeing the maintenance of this FOB, we know how the municipal corporation will run the others."
The 40-metre-long FOB, which connects the first and second zones of MP Nagar, was constructed for students and executives, who frequent these zones. But many students said the FOB was not of much use and had become completely useless after the elevator stopped working.
An engineering student Kajal Thakur (19), said: "I live in a hostel in MP Nagar and we have to cross the road at least four times in a day to go to college and attend coaching. Earlier, when there was much traffic in the evening, I would use it. But after the escalator became faulty, we use the zebra crossing without spending much energy climbing up and down."
However, Bhopal Municipal Corporation city engineer AK Nanda isn’t aware about the technical flaws. He said: "We have constructed it to provide a facility to the pedestrians. The escalator is absolute fine and is in a working condition. I don’t know why it is not open for pedestrians as we have deputed another engineer to look after it.”
Another city engineer OP Bhardwaj could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.