It costs 20 million rupees to build a pedestrian overhead bridge, but because of some design flaws among other problems, only about a quarter of people on foot use them.
Fences on either side are essential to make them safe, explained Transport EDO Atiq Baig. “This lack of fencing means that they are not used 75%.” Drug users have to be removed from them as well.
The defunct Karachi Municipal Corporation, that was in charge of running the city before the local governments were brought in, installed 22 bridges in its time, and the governments after it took the number up to 80.
“The city district government of Karachi had identified 320 spots as potentially dangerous and installed 45 pedestrian bridges in the city,” said Pedestrian Bridges Project Officer Muhammad Athar. But at least Rs4 billion would be needed for all 320 sites.
Ten bridges are being fabricated and would be installed soon and the city is waiting for the federal government to approve another 30 for at least Rs600 million. For its part, the Sindh government had approved Rs200 million for 10 bridges.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2011.
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