Most of the main roads in Indian cities have footpaths. But, not even 1% of pedestrians use those walkways. Then how Indians use pavements?
How are pavements used in India?
For Local Business –
Most of the footpaths are occupied by roadside vendors especially who sell fruits, vegetables, flowers, coconuts, chats, etc. Most of them even use it as a permanent address for business by placing mobile tiffin centers, chat-banders, pan shops, puncture repairing shops, etc.
For 2 and four wheeler Parking –
Vehicles are parked on footpaths in most of the roads, making it as parking slots for two wheelers and four wheelers.
Alternate path for two-wheelers during traffic –
It’s quite common in many Indian cities that two wheelers ride on footpath during peak traffic on roads. Most of the two wheelers who drive on footpath sound horn on pedestrians who walks on pavement. These senseless motorcyclists even shout on pedestrians asking them to move aside.
Government use it to plant trees –
It’s tough to plant trees on both sides of congested and busy roads in Indian cities. That’s why the government uses footpath to plant trees. When these plants grow bigger, it will completely damage the pavement leaving no room for pedestrians to walk on footpath
As Bus Shelters –
Most of the city bus shelters in Indian cities are on footpaths. Unfortunately, these bus shelters are also occupied by homeless people or by roadside vendors
Place to throw garbage –
In most of the Indian Cities, pavements are filled with garbages. Municipal corporation sets dustbins near footpaths. As there is a delay in emptying these dustbins, people threw their garbage near the dustbins that will spread all along the pavement and roads leading to bad smell. Finally, pedestrians have to use roads instead of the footpath.
Footpath as open toilets –
The absence of adequate numbers of public toilets facilities in Indian cities is creating public urinal problems. Few men especially road side vendors, homeless people, school students, etc. use footpath as open toilets making pedestrians avoid such paths.
House for the homeless people –
Most of the pavements in Indian cities turned as the permanent home for beggars, street children and many homeless people. They use footpath for cooking, sleeping and bathing. As no government official or police ask them to vacate, the number of residents using these pavements as homes are increasing day by day.
As auto-rickshaw stands –
Few footpaths became auto-rickshaw stands especially near industrial areas and IT Corridor.