Give Infrastructure(footpaths)to Pedestrians in Mumbai, the most deserving movers in city
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What forced me to start this petition? The sorry state of the infrastructure in Mumbai for pedestrians who shall be the first to get the best infrastructure by government. Walking for work for 4-5 km is not a great deal if we have good footpaths, FOBs which will ensure safety and quick movement. But the real state is such that it is horrible to walk on road for a short distance in constant fear of hit by vehicles in absence of footpaths and FOBs. I request you to sign my petition if you want encroachment fee walkways, FOBs and pollution free cities. Please read till the end to appreciate the importance of pedestrian movement for a healthy city.
The pedestrians are the NIL polluting moving entities on the roads. In large crowded Metros of India, the people, who are opting to walk are the people who are opting for a better future for the country. They contribute more than one way to the society and country, as below.
1. Pollution: The smoke guzzling vehicular movement is a common site on roads of Indian metros where the cars and other vehicles can be seen moving bumber to bumper. Mumbaikars are daily sufferers of same and the quality of life has gone in fourth quadrant. As per WHO 2016 report, Mumbai is the 5th most polluted megacity of the world. The time which would have spent with family, goes in traffic jams. The automobiles are making the environment polluted by emitting the harmful gases on the city roads. Most of the car riders travel with their air conditions ON and hence safeguarding themselves from pollution and emitting the pollution to general public.
On the other hand, the pedestrians don't cause any pollution.If fact, they save the city from pollution by opting for walking in place of taking the automobiles. They are the SAVIORS of the environment.
2. Space Utilization: On one hand, most of the private cars occupancy is 2 to 3 passengers at the most however the space they capture on road is of 8-9 persons.Thus making the space constraint city more congested. While inactive, the automobile consume precious public space for parking.
Pedestrians require the minimum space on the road and the road space utilization by them is Optimum. They are the Least and Optimum Users of the infrastructure.
3. Step towards Healthy India: Each pedestrian contributes towards a healthy India by opting to walk. As per various studies conducted across the globe, the countries are healthier where citizen walks more. Walking is the best exercise and the regular walkers not only get benefited themselves, they benefit the country country also by reducing the burden on the already overloaded public health system of the country. They are the HELPER of government to de-congest the health system for needy one.
Thus the pedestrians are helping the traffic by opting for walking in place of automobiles, they are helping the environment, they are helping the health system of country by keeping them healthy by opting for walking. All these benefits to the society, city and country can be maximized if proper walking is promoted in the city by providing infrastructure to pedestrians.
Now let us see what this noble tribe of walkers getting from the government.
1. No footpaths : There are no footpaths along many important roads of the city. The footpaths on many places are covered by filth, occupied by garbage bins and not constructed at all. It is very difficult for pedestrians to walk in the city. The most humble and noble passenger is most deprived off of the basic infrastructure to walk. ( Walking is the most ancient form of commute). In many places, footpaths are used to construct bus stops.
2.Encroached footpaths/FOBs: The footpaths in the city are encroached upon by shops/hawkers/parking etc. Footpaths are common places found to be used for putting construction debris. The very automobiles polluting the cities have also encroached upon whatever footpaths available for pedestrians.
3. No Foot Over Bridges/Underpasses: No FOBs/Underpasses are constructed on most of the busy roads of the city. Pedestrians can be seen crossing the crowded junctions amid heavy vehicular movements. One of the example is junction of JVLR-Western Express Highway. It is not only risking lives of pedestrians but restricting flow of vehicles also.
4. No Safety: In absence/inadequacy of footpaths, the pedestrians in the city are forced to walk on the roads which are heavily crowded by automobiles. The pedestrians are walking on roads risking their lives on each step of walk.
What the Society Want:With the above advantages of pedestrian movement, it is pertinent for the government and concern agencies to promote walking in the city. With construction of the Metro Train mass transportation system, the need for taking steps for pedestrian infrastructure becomes urgent and imminent.
State Government and BMC shall take following steps urgently to improve the city infrastructure for pedestrian movement.
1. Construction of Footpaths along all the roads of the City: Government and BMC shall ensure that the footpaths are constructed along every road of the city. Special attention shall be given to the area near railway stations, bus stops, metro stations. industrial areas where the pedestrian movement is highest.
2. Freeing of footpaths from Encroachment : All the encroachments shall be removed from the footpaths and FOBs. Encroachment shall be made a cognizable offence so as to deter the repeat offenders. Strict action shall be taken against the enchroachers as they are responsible for the accidents/deaths caused on roads/FOBs due to non availability of footpaths/FOBs.
3. Framing of Pedestrian Policy by State Government: State Government shall form a pedestrian policy clearly indicating the measures to be taken to develop and protect the infrastructure for pedestrians in the City. Hon'ble Chief Minister may take the leadership for benefit of lakhs of daily walkers of the city. A high level committee shall be constituted immediately for the same.
4. Setting up for separate department for construction and maintenance of the pedestrian under BMC: To give due weightage to the cause of pedestrians, a separate department shall be created under BMC who shall look after construction of footpaths/FOBs, maintenance of footpaths/FOBs removal of encroachments, taking and addressing complaints of the public with respect to footpaths and pedestrian infrastructure.
5. Modelling of Mumbai as a City of Pedestrians and Construction of Heritage Walkways: To promote the city for tourism and to give it international recognition, government shall identify the areas where Heritage walkways can be constructed. These walkways will not only facilitate the pedestrian movement, but also promote tourism and give international identification to the city.
6. Citizen partnership for upkeep of pedestrian infrastructure: In the age of Information Technology, it is heartening to see that no suitable platform is available with BMC to lodge quick complaints on public infrastructure inefficiencies on mobile app. To reap great advantage of citizen partnership, such an app shall be developed and shall be publicized to ensure a better system. Citizen Charter shall be publicized to increase the awareness and to create a self check mechanism for footpaths and FOBs/underpasses.
The city of Mumbai is seen as a Mirror of India in international community. The dearth of basic facilities in the city gives poor impression of the country hence centre government shall also take necessary action to ensure these basic infrastructure. Hon'ble Prime Minister may guide the nation for developing the pedestrian infrastructure in all cities of India so as to make India an pollution free pedestrian friendly and safe country.
The hard working dream chasers of Mumbai deserve more than the crowded trains, crowded roads, no footpaths. The city shall be world class with its infrastructure so that every Indian can feel proud of it. The policy makers and implementing agencies are requested to take necessary action so that the city not only be a city of dream chasers, but become a "Dream City" of every citizen of world.
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