Minsk Square: police kiosk takes up foothpath space

While pedestrians fight to clear the city’s pavements so that they become useable, a new traffic kiosk has come up on the footpath at the refurbished Minsk Square in the centre of the city.

The kiosk, located on the footpath just near the model of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) opposite the HAL office, is now forcing pedestrians to walk on the road.

A pedestrian navigates around the police chowki at Minsk Square, on Cubbon Road in Bengaluru on Tuesday.— Photo: K. Murali Kumar

This is very dangerous because the junction is always busy with vehicular traffic, say pedestrians who feel the situation could have been handled with a little initial planning.

“They built the whole thing up, the least they could have done is provide a proper space for the kiosk to be installed. The police also need their rest, but this seems more like a stop-gap arrangement,” said Rohit Kumar, who works near Minsk Square.

With a dearth of space at the square, the police argue that this was the best place for the kiosk, and that pedestrians do not cross the road at this point.

“It is located on the island housing the plane and next to the road far from the pedestrian crossing. Pedestrians do not need to go there unless they are going to the kiosk,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), M.A. Saleem. An existing kiosk on the other side of the road in the median is set to be removed as it was too small to serve its purpose.

The square, named after the capital city of Belarus as part of a ‘twin cities’ programme, had been closed partially for years as the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) was constructing the Cubbon Park underground station there.

Once the work was completed, the square was recently opened to traffic and there are several plans afoot to make the junction more visually appealing.

BMRCL has plans to install artwork and landscape the islands at the Square in the coming months.