The space under flyovers have been put to various uses in several parts of the world – from beautiful parks to parking space or shops. With several flyovers springing up across the Capital in recent years,a lot of space was created,some of which was well-utilised and some misused as a colleague noticed.
Several flyovers at important intersections have been neatly tiled and have become convenient places for migrant labour and the homeless to establish themselves. It’s a common sight for several families, a number of whom hail from the same village, to call these places home. For the passers-by they may be an eyesore but for the migrant labourers and beggars alike, these places are heaven-sent. Our colleague presented another side to this picture, recounting how some anti-social elements often gather under flyovers to gamble.
Card sessions are common but some sources say even animal fights, mainly with goats, are also conducted here, with heavy betting. Women dread to traverse these spots as several enemployed youth lounging around pass unsavoury comments and drunken brawls are common.
Police patrols appear to have no effect on these uncouth elements and our colleague strongly suspected the former chooses to turn a huge blind eye. While one has all sympathy for the homeless and labourers, on whom the city’s infrastructure development is hugely dependent, authorities must ensure the safety of its citizens.
Surely, it’s not impossible to put the available space to good use, including low cost housing for the poor – they are anyway residing there, why not make it official and with more dignity?