Thursday, December 27, 2007

Something, least pretend to do it

December 19, 2007

H/l: Coming soon: Parking lots, ring roads, monorail
Intro: First meeting to solve Pune’s traffic problems lists out possible solutions

From: Vrushali Lad

Mumbai: This is great news for a fast-expanding city grappling with the seemingly-unsourmountable problem of growing vehicular density and lack of road planning.
The state Urban Development (UD) department yesterday promised many more parking lots for Pune and 1,500 additional traffic personnel, as a first step towards solving the city’s traffic woes.

If really lucky, the city’s traffic issues could be eased by other modes of transport such as monorails, trams, metro rail and bus transport which functions with the kind of efficiency that the BEST does in neighbouring Mumbai, feels the government. Pune is also set to have a ring road network after feasibility studies are conducted for the same.

In the first high-level meeting held at the Mantralaya yesterday after these promises had been enumerated by CM Vilasrao Deshmukh during the monsoon session this year, Principal Secretary (UD) Ramanand Tiwari listed many solutions that the city’s governing bodies need to consider to ease the burgeoning traffic and allied problems such as lack of heavy and light traffic diversion, additional manpower to monitor road traffic and also the reduction in numbers of labourers who are working on the outskirts of Pune on various construction works.

The meeting was chaired by Tiwari and was attended by Pune mayor Rajlakhsmi Bhosale, civic chief Pravinsinh Pardeshi, Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) chief Dilip Band, and MLAs Chandrakant Chhajed, Girish Bapat, Sharad Dhamale, Chandrakant Shivarkar, Vilas Lande and Kamlatai Dhole Patil.

Bhosale pointed out, “In the coming days, Pune will attract a lot of foreign investment, following which, there will be a host of projects underway in and around the city. It is important to provide the labourers working in these projects an incentive so that they will use the trains to enter and exit Pune, instead of using the roads.”

She also suggested a solution to phase heavy traffic out of the city. “The incomplete road works on the Katraj-Undri-Pisoli-Phursungi stretch, as well as the Phursungi-Theur-Fulgaon-Markhol-Dhanori-Chakan stretch, followed by the Wagholi-Bhavdi-Talapur stretch must be speedily finished to avoid bottlenecks and traffic jams,” she said.

A major proposal deliberated yesterday was the earmarking of parking lots at Sambhaji udyan, Pune station, the ST stand, Ambedkar road and Hamalwadi. The report on this is to come within a month.

“Whichever vacant spaces are lying with the government could be freed to construct two tiered parking lots, apart from setting aside one floor for parking in under-construction buildings, as well as allotting some space near the airport,” said Pardeshi.

Additionally, the PMC, PCMC and the public works department are to form a committee that will present a proposal to implement a workable ring road system for the city. “The proposal should function on the BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) principle, and must also look into the issue of long-pending road works in the city,” Tiwari advised.

What’s up with the city:
50 lakhs population of Pune this year
20 lakhs own/use vehicles
535 new vehicles registered everyday
825 new licenses given everyday
2 to 6 times vehicles as compared to road capacity

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