Residents and office-goers in Kundalahalli who brave stench and mischief-mongers while walking through mounds of garbage in the Export Promotion Industrial Park (EPIP), can now heave a sigh of relief. The BBMP has granted temporary approval to a proposal by the Whitefield Export Promotion Park Industrial Association (WEPPIA) to develop a pedestrian walkway using CSR funds on a drain that cuts through the garbage dump. WEPPIA will construct the walkway with the help of United Way Bengaluru, an NGO. “The temporary permission is subject to conditions, including no damage should be caused to public and government properties, civil works should be executed in the presence of the assistant executive engineer concerned and there should be no deviation from the design of the existing drain,” reads the permission letter dated March 8. Work on developing the drain has already begun and concrete slabs will soon be laid over it to make it a pedestrian-friendly path. It’s likely to be ready in one-and-a-half months. Nearly 10,000 people walk through the dump on a daily basis. The path provides critical access to companies located in EPIP to residential areas in Kundalahalli, ACES Layout and Brookfield Layout. “Many of us walk or cycle for nearly 3km to reach the EPIP. Walking is easier and takes less time as opposed to travelling by bus which takes nearly an hour due to traffic snarls,” said Shilpa Saravanan, a software employee and resident of Kundalahalli.
“We’re forced to walk through the garbage pile as it takes less time, but it is certainly not the safest of routes at night,” she said, adding that the pedestrian walkway will resolve most of the problems. Parul (name changed) said earlier this month when she was walking amid the garbage mounds, two men accosted her and tried to harass her. “I pushed them away and took to my heels. The companies surrounding this area have installed CCTV cameras, but a part of the stretch is pitch dark and that is where the incident happened,” she added.
Parul hoped the BBMP will illuminate the pathway to keep mischief- mongers at bay. The walkway was initially proposed by the WEPPIA in a letter to Doddanekkundi corporator Shwetha Vijaykumar. “…there is an urgent need to find an alternative and sustainable solution for pedestrians. Alongside this private land, there is a stormwater drain, which flows from EPIP road to Kundalahalli Lake and measures approximately 100m. It is presently passing through KIADB site survey no. 30/31. We propose to improve the drain, cover it with concrete slabs and make it pedestrianfriendly and contribute for less congestion on the road and reduce pollution…,” read the WEPPIA letter, a copy of which is with TOI. “The residents had been complaining about the issue and we took it up with support from several companies in the area. The walkway will be ready in one-and-a-half months,” said corporator Shwetha Vijaykumar.