Residents robbed of walkways; blame Huda for ‘partiality’
Despite regular incidents of pedestrians and cyclists being victimised by speeding vehicles in the city, Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) seems to have thrown all sensitivity to the wind as newly repaired and re-carpetted roads have encroached upon the footpaths. Siddhartha Rai reports.india Updated: Jul 01, 2013 01:18 IST
Despite regular incidents of pedestrians and cyclists being victimised by speeding vehicles in the city, Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) seems to have thrown all sensitivity to the wind as newly repaired and re-carpetted roads have encroached upon the footpaths so much so that no space has been left vacant between the green belt and the motorway.
The road from Huda City Centre Metro station to Subhash Chowk has been repaired and widened of late, but footpaths or any other kind of pedestrian walkway along the road are conspicuous by their absence.
"We have removed footpaths but will surely make some arrangements for the pedestrians soon. If the road has been widened to touch the green belt then we might cut upon the green belt and lay new footpaths between the first and the second tree lines," said Huda administrator Praveen Kumar.
Residents of the area have started feeling uneasy for the want of space to walk on the roads. Also, illegally mushrooming roadside florists, vegetable and fruit vendors have made the road all the more intractable for people footing their distance.
Sanjeev Saxena, a resident of Sector 45, who lost his father in a road accident in January this year, said, "It is criminal on the part of Huda to remove the walkways. Just as the right to life and work, under the Motor Vehicle Act we have the right to walk on the roads. I think not making provision for footpaths is a violation of the right to equality; pedestrians are discriminated on the roads. If for the absence of footpath a person dies, like my father, why should Huda not be liable for punishment for negligence?"
"We will have to see if there is a provision for a footpath on the said road as per the original plan of Huda. If there is such a plan, and if a person loses his life for the want of a proper walkway along the road, then surely Huda can be held liable in a legal suit, should the victim choose to sue," said Punjab and Haryana high court lawyer Harish Malhotra.
Another lawyer said, "Huda might try to hide behind the argument that the road is under repair so the footpath has been dismantled temporarily. But, then it will have to see to it that proper signboards are put up everywhere along the road and some alternate arrangement is made for the pedestrians."
First Published: Jun 30, 2013 20:15 IST