Ganeshkind Road’s harrowing traffic rules need serious rethink

About 20 years ago, what was then known as the Ganeshkhind Road, was lined with beautiful banyan trees on either sides leading to a beautiful fountain at the University Circle. It was possible to take a right turn there to enter the university gate, or a U-turn to enter the gate of Vaikunth Mehta National Institute.

However, when Pune hosted the Asiad Games, all the banyan trees were chopped to widen the road. The beautiful fountain was also removed. Then, to ease congestion, a flyover was built at a huge cost. The traffic police also stopped the signal for right turn between 9am to 11am in the morning — the peak office rush hours.

Let us look at the alternatives that office goers now have: #They take a left turn on the Pashan-Sus road and stop at the signal. The traffic police have allowed the two-wheelers to make a left turn, but have disallowed the four-wheelers. How is this justified? Can the police show any rule which permits this kind of partisan act?

#Four-wheelers are, therefore, forced to drive ahead on the Aundh Road and then take a right turn in front of the Raj Bhavan and the Chatushrungi Police station. Here the traffic flows at a high speed with vehicles coming from the over-bridge and merging with the traffic going towards the very busy area of Aundh.

#Another spot waiting for accidents to occur is at the turn. There is no signal here. Alone cop, who used to monitor traffic, has been removed. At the same time, there are always 4-5 cops at the University chowk.

As a result it is left to the skills of the driver to take a right turn, while negotiating heavy traffic. Also there are barricades placed on the side , which means further narrowing of the space to turn. As cars jostle for space to turn, the possibility of one bumping into another greatly increases. I face a harrowing time every morning due to this traffic “bandobast”. Earlier, the traffic would be smooth and fast. Vehicles would go in a single direction. Traffic was managed in a way that vehicles were allowed to take right turns.

Now, while coming from Senapati Bapat road, when I turn on to Ganeshkhind, there is a traffic snarl waiting for me at the under-bridge. Traffic comes to a stand still for about 3-4minutes here. The vehicles slowly inch forwards, only to be stopped at the University Circle again for 5-7 minutes. Since right turn is not allowed any more, I have to drive on the Aundh Road.

Once, I had a private bus come hurtling down the bridge on my right. Had I moved to the right, the bus would have crashed into my car. There is also a public bus stop on the left, and my car had got sandwiched between the public bus, which had stopped on the left, and the tourist bus on the right.

I tried talking to traffic police, but they seem to be indifferent to citizens’ woes.

Understandably, the University circle has traffic passing from four main roads; but not allowing the right turn is not the solution. Where is the logic in turning off the right turn in the morning hours?

Source : TOI