3 civic projects raise travel anxiety

Hundreds of people travelling every day on the arterial roads in and around Shivajinagar have to put up with the long slog as commuting on a 2-km stretch between the College of Engineering Pune junction, SG Barve Chowk and Tanajiwadi road takes at least 30 minutes in peak hours.

Three big road works undertaken simultaneously by the Pune Municipal Corporation in the busy Shivajinagar area keep traffic in a muddled state throughout the day. People, many of them office-goers, were stuck in traffic jams almost every day.

A flyover at the College of Engineering, Pune junction along the Mumbai-Pune highway, a vehicular subway at S.G. Barve Chowk on Shivaji Road near the Shivajinagar post office, and concretization of the road approaching the PMPML bus depot in Tanajiwadi are the cause of traffic problems.

Even though the traffic branch of the Pune police has taken steps to streamline the flow, the sheer volumes, the lack of adequate safety measures and poor lighting make traversing these roads a risk. All three projects are unlikely to be completed before August which means the problem may persist and spill over to the next year.

Pedestrians, bus and rail commuters are among the worst-affected as road safety measures are missing at the construction sites. Besides the inconvenience, bus and rail commuters said that they were delayed when trying to reach Shivajinagar railway station, the state transport bus terminal at Shivajinagar and PMPML’s main bus stand at Narveer Tanajiwadi.

Construction at the three sites has raised dust levels in the entire area and many people have been affected by the air pollution since they spend time in the crawling traffic. All three sites are at a distance of about 800 metres to 1 km from each other. Vehicular traffic on at least four major roads including the Mumbai-Pune highway stretch, Jangli Maharaj, Shivaji and University roads is affected every day.

The traffic police have temporarily diverted vehicular traffic on some of these roads to facilitate the completion of the ongoing works. Traffic jams on the main roads in Shivajinagar have a cascading effect on the other areas.

The flyover at COEP junction and the construction of the vehicular subway at S.G. Barve chowk started almost simultaneously ten months ago. The concretization works in Narveer Tanajiwadi area began four months ago.

People complained that there were no public notice boards at all three sites where citizens can get details such as the cost, the construction firm, completion date, and emergency numbers they can dial for suggestions or complaints.

Superintending engineer of the roads department in the Pune Municipal Corporation said that it is the responsibility of the contractors to ensure that road safety measures are put up at the construction sites.

Source: timesofindia, Jan’14

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