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Dark and dingy pedestrian subways closed in Jammu, people suffer

Pedestrian subways are the underpasses made beneath a road/railway to allow pedestrians to reach to the other side of the road safely.

Owing to traffic congestion and tragic accidents at few places in Jammu, the Pedestrian subways were a long standing demand of the people. Thus, two such pedestrian underpasses were inaugurated in September 2016 one each at Gangyal and Digiana to prevent accidents as these areas mostly stay busy with traffic.

These two 36 mtrs long subways were constructed by PWD (R&B) Department at a combined cost of Rs 2.5 crore under Centre Road Fund (CRF).

The then Speaker Kavinder Gupta had said, "New subways will be beneficial for the public as they can easily go through underpass and it will also reduce the risk of accidents as the pedestrians now can easily avoid the heavy traffic to cross the roads in these areas."

He had directed concerned officials to ensure the maintenance & cleanliness of these subways and also urged the locals to contribute their part to keep cleanliness in and around the subways.

A few more subways were constructed in different areas of Jammu including the one near Kala Kendra, Bikram Chowk which can be seen littered with empty bottles, syringes and intoxicating medicines. These underpasses stink of urine and excreta which has made impossible for pedestrians to move through it. Another issue related to the pedestrian underpasses is the accumulation of rainwater in them during rainy season which can be termed as a design flaw.

The concerned department has considered it fair enough to close pedestrian subways instead of cleaning them and putting to good use. Since, a huge chunk of funds were utilized for constructing these underpasses so the department must thrown them open for people and employ the required staff to ensure proper sanitation and lighting system in these dark and dingy stretches.

The closing of underpasses have left the people fuming as lakhs of rupees were utilized on their construction and these subways provide an easy path to avoid unruly vehicular movement. The pedestrians have been left in the lurch as they are not able to walk along busy junctions.

The explosive increase in vehicular traffic had relegated the pedestrian to subways but now, they will end up jaywalking on the busy roads which is dangerous. Since, pedestrians are often the main component of urban traffic incidents so the concerned authorities must wake up and open the pedestrian subways for use to avoid any untoward incidents.



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Hardeep Bali