Keep footpaths, foot over-bridges free

Mayors’ attention needed

It is unfortunate that most of the footpaths and footbridges of the city remain unusable because of many reasons. Firstly, beggars and vendors occupy most of the footbridge space during day time and at night these go under the control of drug addicts and prostitutes. No one dares to climb a footbridge middle of the night for fear of drug addicts and muggers. Secondly, many of the footbridges need cleaning and immediate repair work. City footpaths are also not in a better state. A study revealed that almost 80 percent of the footpaths are found to be occupied by vendors of different denominations. Foot-bridges need cleaning and maintenance. 

Though footbridges and footpaths are constructed spending crores of Taka for the citizens of the country to make urban living a bit comfortable, these soon lose the shine because of lack of maintenance. The flower pots and tubs soon dry up as there is no one to water the plants after commissioning. 

As seen through the decades, footpaths or pavements are mostly occupied by local traders, shopkeepers, vendors, van drivers, beggars and vagabonds. One may notice small tea-stalls set up on some pavements which often make walking during busy hours a hazardous experience. 

We understand City Corporation inspectors are entrusted with the responsibilities of keeping the pavements and footbridges clear of any wrongful possession, but, it is being alleged that the occupiers actually bribe a section of corrupt staff members of the two City Corporations and do their business without any fear whatsoever. There is further allegation of the involvement of some corrupt members of the law enforcing agencies in the whole affair. Media is replete with stories of pavement and footbridge intrusion but besides some occasional eviction drive no permanent solution has been implemented by the authorities.

The situation is worse in Old Dhaka where local visitors or foreign tourists cannot move about freely to see the historical places because of the obstacles. On a portion of the land of the now vacated Dhaka Central Jail a modern truck stand can be constructed to enable parking of hundreds of trucks that come to the area on a daily basis from different corners of the country.