TRAFFIC CHAOS BHAVANI PETH – Lives in jeopardy on narrow roads around education hub

Haphazard parking of vehicles by students of Poona College and Azam Campus is not only hindering traffic movement but also leading to shortage of parking space for others in Bhavani Peth.

There are 30 educational institutes, including 28 in Azam Campus and two, including Poona College of Arts, Science and Commerce and Poona Institute of Management, catering to the needs of over 46,000 students.

There are six schools-two on campus, two on Chudaman Talim Road, one in New Modi Khana and another near old motor stand for students from Bhavani Peth, Camp, Kashewadi and Lohiyanagar slums.

The Peth links roads to Camp, Hidayatulla Road, Pune Cantonment Board, Employees Provident Fund office, Shankar Sheth Road, Swargate, Wanowrie, Salisbury Park, Lullangar, Kondhwa, Nana Peth and Rasta Peth.

Chudaman Talim, Kashewadi and Lohiyanagar is a sensitive place having background of communal tension. The place is dominated by large number of Muslims, Hindus and other backward class communities.

The place comes under the Cantonment constituency earlier known as Bhavani Peth constituency . Congress and Nationalist Congress Party are strong here.

Since these are old city areas, widening of roads is impossible. Residents want the roads outside the educational institutes converted into a one-way for reducing congestion, but people in housing societies have opposed the move.

With no possible solution in hand, the situation is building pressure on PMC and PCB for improving infrastructure and the police are stretched to the limits to maintain traffic flow.

Resident Javed Khan said Bhavani Peth is linked to five roads via Roshan mosque graveyard, Kashewadi, old motor stand, Bhavani temple and Nehru Road and vehicular traffic coming from all sides creates bottle necks. The roads are narrow and vehicles load and unload goods at the timber market here.

PMPML buses from Pulgate and Ramoshigate ply on both sides of Chudaman Talim Road. For instance, the width of the road is 20 ft and that of a bus is 12 ft. Tempos and cars cannot pass.

“There are bottlenecks at Sonawane hospital, Ramoshigate chowk, Ladkat petrol pump, A D Camp and Sant Kabir Chowks because there are no signals. PMC has widened the stretch between MSEDCL head office in Rasta Peth and Sant Kabir Chowk, but the rest of the road leading to Bhavani Peth remains untouched. Traf fic will ease if the road is widened at the earliest,“ Khan added.

Businessman Manish Sonigra said garbage bins overflow and motorists drive dangerously . Drainage lines are over flowing and the lids of manholes have been damaged by heavy vehicles. Some get stuck in manholes and the situation is crea ting congestion on the roads.

Roads are in a good condition but there is little civic sense among the people. They pick up disputes over traffic jams and customers to some shops park haphazardly , Sonigra said, adding that the temple road is a one-way , but motorists use it as a two-way because there is no enforcement of traffic norms.

Academician M D Lawrence said vehicles from Shankar Seth Road use a shorter route to Hidayatuallah Road to reach MG Road and other places. The situation is creating congestion because plying of vehicles from Golibar Maidan to Pulgate bus stand has been stopped. If vehicles were allowed to pass via Golibar Maidan and Ambedkar school, the move will decongest traffic here.

Another businessman Rafique Shaikh said there is dearth of parking space in institutes and students park on defence land known as Abaji Maidan which is a nuisance for Kalpana and Ashiyana apartments as the residents cannot take out their vehicles. Activist Naresh Jadhav said congestion is created in a narrow lane between New Modi Khana and Azam Campus because of loading and unloading of cylinders by a gas agency . Many students residing nearby walk to schools and colleges, but in a congestion they take more than 30 minutes because the roads are narrow.

“We call the control room number 100, and policemen clear the congestion. But, if they are called again and again, they get irritated. We want a ban on parking on narrow roads and P1, P2 systems where possible. We want the police to meet residents and seek suggestions for improving the situation. A police help centre outside Poona College is closed. It should be opened so that traffic can be managed in peak hours.“ Jadhav said.

PCB member Atul Gaik wad has met officials of Azam Campus with a request to appoint traffic wardens or volunteers to clear bottlenecks around New Modikhana. They want vehicles to take a right turn from Golibar Maidan to Kondhwa so that traffic here is eased.

Latif Magdum, secretary of MCE society , which runs 28 colleges on Azam Campus, said, “We have sent numerous letters to the police to conduct a survey of congested spots and suggest remedial measures like one-ways for improving traffic, but there is no response. We have space for parking 2,000 vehicles. We don’t allow autorickshaws or outsiders to park inside. We have closed gate number two opposite Kashewadi for security reasons.“

Poona college principal Rafique Sarkhawas said, “We have written to PCB to convert the defence land outside the college into a pay-n-park area.The move will decongest the place and help the board get revenue. We have place for parking of 180 bikes and a little for cars. We have asked students staying in nearby place to come walking to decongest traffic. Our NSS volunteers assist the police on festive occasions.“

Source : TOI