IT TOOK Rs 1,000 CR AND 8 YRS TO LAUNCH BRTS IN THE CITY – Now, PMC and PMPML eye 2 new corridors

Transport authority also proposes changes in the bus stations along the new routes, based on the mistakes being found in existing ones; currently, feasibility being studied
After facing various hurdles over nearly a decade and spending crores of rupees, but finally launching two new Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) corridors -along Vishrantwadi and Nagar Road -in the city over the last year, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) have now very ambitiously zeroed in on a plan to work on two new corridors almost immediately.Currently, it has been revealed that both organisations are working on a new plan that involves establishing bus corridors along Karve Road and Sinhagad Road -in fact, the feasibility for both these new proposed routes, which constitute approximately 25 kms in total, is being explored by engineers of the PMC road department.

Meanwhile, PMPML has also proposed various changes in the bus stations which will come up along these new corridors, citing the issues being faced on the already-established ones.

Furnishing details about the new corridors, PMPML chief executive officer (CEO) Sushma Kolhe told Mirror, “The two new corridors include one on Karve Road, starting from Paud Phata Chowk and ending at Warje Bridge, and the second on Sinhagad Road, beginning from Sarasbaug and going till Dhayari Phata. The BRTS service will run in the middle of the road, for which we will need an eight-foot corridor; there will be around 7-8 bus stations each on both stretches. Currently, our officials along with PMC staffers are doing ground feasibility checks for both routes, such as where we will place the bus stations, walking ways for commuters, sign boards, signals and more.“

Till date, both PMC and PimpriChinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) have spent more than Rs 1,000 crore, since the pilot BRTS project (Katraj-Swargate and SwargateHadapsar) began in 2007, subsequent to which more BRTS routes were sanctioned under both civic bodies.

Speaking to Mirror on condition of anonymity about the newest development, a senior engineer of the PMC road department shared, “It is not going to be easy to work on both the new corridors, because Karve Road and Sinhagad Road are densely populated areas and face heavy traffic daily. There is a need to acquire land on which many commercial and housing apartments are currently based; moreover, road alignment will also have to be changed as the BRTS corridor will come bang in the middle of the thoroughfare.We are now measuring road lengths, and listing out obstacles, like trees, buildings and more. Thereafter, a report will be submitted by us and accordingly, further work will be done.“

Out of these, the SangamwadiVishrantwadi corridor was launched on August 30, 2015, while the YerwadaWagholi (Nagar Road) route began under PMC on April 28, 2016; PimpriChinchwad’s first BRTS (and Pune’s second), from Sangvi to Kiwale, was inaugurated on September 5, 2015.

Interestingly, there are also going to be some changes in design when it comes to the bus stations that will come up on both new BRTS corridors. “The existing bus stations on the Vishrantwadi and Nagar Road corridors face many problems. The round structure on one side of each station will be removed and changed to a tilted slope on both sides under the new design.Also, the old-style tube lights will be changed to LED lights, ventilations system will be improved, and the door docking system with sensors, currently on the outside of the station, will be taken in. The roofs of the current station also don’t have proper mechanisms to dispel rainwater, due to which leakage is a major issue. This, too, will be altered,“ admitted CEO Kolhe.

In February this year, Mirror had also reported about a new PMPML proposal to PMC, contemplating an extension of the existing BRTS routes from three spots -Dapodi, Sangamwadi and Sanghvi Phata -to the main PMC bus station. The proposed corridor was to start from these three spots and come to the designation destination through Ganeshkhind Road and Old Pune­ Mumbai Highway, respectively. Some part of busy J M Road till Jhansi Rani Chowk was also to come under the new extension, where it would turn right through Congress Bhavan Road to reach the main PMC bus station.

Source : Mirror