Local residents have repeatedly launched agitations demanding that the stretch be converted into a two-way . The PCB had also passed a resolution to convert the stretch into a two-way a year ago, but the decision has remained on paper.
The chowk leads to Pune-Solapur highway , railway station, Bhavani Peth and other areas.
Ever since police banned vehicles coming from Swargate and the dhobi ghat from taking a right turn to Kondhwa from Golibar Maidan outside Pune Cantonment Board, motorists take a left turn and travel for 2km to pass via Thimmayya Road, Khanya Maruti Chowk, Pulgate bus stand, Napier Road and Ambedkar school to reach Golibar Maidan and take a left turn to Kondhwa Road.
The situation is creating bottlenecks at the chowk and other places.Residents face hardships in crossing the roads and parking vehicles. Former PCB member Arti Mahajan said, “The one-way was introduced when I was the member of the board. We had opposed the move, but PMC and the police went ahead with its implementation for starting the BRTS route from the bus stand.Today , the life of residents has become miserable and they have to wait for a considerable time to cross the chowk. There is no space left for parking. The place is prone to accidents and is surrounded by a large number of educational school and residential areas.“
Problems in the cantonment relating to civic issues have compounded, but there is no solution in sight.Autorickshaws are refusing to service this side because they have to use longer routes. They charge exorbitant fares. A proposal to construct a foot overbridge and an escalator for senior citizens from Poona Colle from Pune station, Hadapsar and Kondhwa pass via this chowk and the situation is creating congestion for the public .“
Residents of Krishnakunj Cooperative Hou sing Society and Deccan Towers and those from Solapur Bazaar and New Modikhana are the worst affected because of the one-way , Chavan said. He said congestion will ease if vehicles were allowed to turn right from Golibar Maidan junction to Kondhwa or if a flyover was constructed from the PCB hospital to Kondhwa Road or if an arterial road for light vehicles is constructed from Solapur Bazaar canal to Pulgate.
Krishnakunj resident Manoj Parmar said, “There are four roads including one from Kanyashala school in Solapur Bazaar passing from outside our society and linking to the chowk. The congestion can be eased here if vehicles were allowed to ply from Ambedkar school and Mhammadevi chowk. We find it extremely difficult to walk out of our societies due to congestion. We have launched agitations to convert the stretch into a two-way and made representations to PCB and traffic police and MLA Dilip Kamble, but till date nothing has happened.“
Activist Shashi Puram from New Modikhana said, “ Around 300 students parked their vehicles outside a college on Solapur Road and it created congestion at Khanya Maruti Chowk and the T-junction of Pulgate. Congestion will ease if the college makes alternative arrangements for parking. Vehicles will run smoothly if the chowk and its adjoining roads were widened and parking boards removed sometime ago are refixed.“
The cycle track outside the bus stand or BRTS route should be removed for road widening. Residents pay heavy taxes and we want the PCB to improve infrastructure for easing traffic or the situation will go out of control, Puram said.
MG Road resident Sanjay Phat ke said, “Outstation vehicular traffic gets clogged at Khanya Maruti Chowk because drivers don’t known the directions to their destinations as there are no sign boards.We want the PCB to install sign boards as the move will ease traffic to some extent. People want police to allow them to take a right turn to Kondhwa because they have to take alonger route to reach their destination and they have spend more on fuel and maintaining vehicles. Commercial vehicles that take a right turn from the chowk have to pay vehicle entry tax after crossing Mhammadevi Chowk. The tax is recovered from commuters who face the heat of one-way traffic.“
Bhimpura resident Sandeep Bhosale said, “PMC planned to start the BRTS route from the chowk and hence the stretch from Golibar Maidan was converted into a one-way .Since the BRTS has not started, we want the stretch to be converted into a two-way as it is the only solution for easing traffic. No speed breakers and speeding are the other problems. We want unauthorized hawkers and encroachments removed from M G Road and New Modikhana because they create hindrances to the smooth flow of traffic.“
Businessman Farokh Irani said, “Converting a one-way into a twoway will create chaos at the chowk. If the PCB would have had some town planning 25 years ago, the place would not have become congested today . The population and the number of vehicles have multiplied. People don’t drive at a steady speed and the situation is creating congestion every passing day . Police were not allowing vehicles to stop outside business establishments near the chowk as it may create congestion, but it is not making a difference. Motorists stop for a few seconds to make pur chases. We have appointed more employees for providing quick service. Businessmen here have not appointed wardens to manage traffic.“
A PCB official said, “We have written to the traffic police to allow vehicles coming from Swargate to take a right turn from our office to Kondhwa because it will ease congestion at Khanya Maruti Chowk.The board has passed a resolution, but the traffic police expressed their inability to execute the resolution because it would create chaos at Golibar Maidan. The one-way was started on a trial basis, but made permanent without consulting the board.Police are not holding traffic mobility meetings for solutions to the congestion at Khanya Maruti CHowk and the other places. There is no scope for widening the road because the properties around the chowk belongs to private parties and are on an old grant basis (long term lease).“
Source : TOI