This has not only caused traffic and public transport issues in the city to pile up, but also effectively means that the overall traffic situation remains unimproved. Some autorickshaw unions and All India Motor Transport (AIMT) sent letters demanding that the meeting be convened. However, there has been no response from traffic cops. While RTO authorities said they are not empowered to call for such a meeting, cops maintained that this is only one of the several such platforms for discussions and that they carry out other initiatives to exchange dialogue.
Meanwhile, civic activists have pointed out several issues in the absence of regular meetings. They also al leged that such meetings stopped being scheduled as NGO representatives had begun demanding deadlines for resolving issues and taking followups. “The coordination committee meeting was the only platform to raise issues affecting pedestrians and public transport users. After one-way traffic movement was implemented at various major roads, we had demanded that the footpath width be increased.Our request is pending for two years.Moreover, extra parking space for twowheelers creates traffic congestion,“ said Sujit Patwardhan, founder of Parisar.
However, Sarang Avad, DCP (traffic) said, cops conduct various initiatives to discuss traffic issues. “This committee meeting was only one of them. We tackle traffic issues through other means as well. A coordination meeting will be conducted soon.“
Prashant Inamdar, committee member and founder of Pedestrian First, said on submitting a complaint, that authorities start passing the buck, saying it does not come under their ju risdiction. “It’s easy to fix responsibility and set deadlines at the meeting as it was attended by all parties.“
When asked, Jitendra Patil, regional transport officer of Pune, said, “We do not have the authority to call the meeting. Traffic police are the convener. However, we have no pending issues from our end.“
Sunil Ramanand, joint CP, pointed out that committee meetings were initiated to prevent curb touts from eating into the revenues of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) and resolve commuters’ problems with autorickshaw drivers.“While, we have been conducting various drives, this joint meeting will be called soon,“ Ramanand said.
Public transport unions also voiced their issues. Baba Shinde of the All India Motor Committee said while autorickshaws and tourist taxis have increased in number, since 2009, there have been no provisions for newer rickshaw stands.
Bapu Bhave, president of Auto Rickshaw Federation, said, “A major issue is signal synchronization at Karve and Sinhagad roads. The timing needs to be reset. Moreover, many are unaware of the pre-paid rickshaw service at Swargate, which is located at an inconvenient spot.“
Source : Mirror