The completion of a much-needed skywalk on the outer ring road (ORR) in southeastern Bengaluru has become an occasion to celebrate for local residents. The skywalk, situated between Akme Harmony apartment and Cloudnine Hospital, took almost a year to build. Residents had been demanding the skywalk for long but the BBMP paid heed only after Sanjay Giri, a 19-year-old security guard, died in a road accident in November 2017. In a fitting tribute, the skywalk has been named after him.
Residents describe the skywalk as a “symbol of effective citizen activism”. According to them, the skywalk took shape only because Bangalore Central MP, P C Mohan, and Bellandur Jothege, a forum of local residents, kept up the pressure on the BBMP. The skywalk was so badly needed that residents started using it in October, long before it was completed. With thousands of vehicles moving on the outer ring road, crossing the stretch means putting one’s life at risk. Residents carried out protests and regularly followed up with the BBMP to get the work done. They ran a campaign, asking every resident of Bellandur to post a selfie with the skywalk on the Twitter page of Bellandur Jothege. All this to coax the BBMP into finishing the project. “I wonder what’s the interest of the BBMP and the contractor to delay a skywalk,” a resident said. “This is a great achievement of citizen activism.”