PMPML to nail rash bus drivers with CCTV footage from cops

The Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) will seek information and data from the Pune police about its bus drivers paying no heed to traffic regulations, include jumping of signals and rash driving, in the late hours.

Commuters have claimed they have had close shaves involving rashly driven PMPML buses. Chairman and managing director of the transport body Tukaram Mundhe told TOI they were taking a serious view of the issue.

“We will act against violators of traffic rules with help from the police. Breaking traffic rules is not acceptable. We will identify offenders and action will follow,“ Mundhe said.

Darshan Padwal, who lives in Kondhwa, said the biggest problems were near the PMC bus stand. “I start from my workplace around 8.30pm. The other day , I had just crossed the building and the intersec tion ahead was completely crammed with PMPML buses coming and going from all directions. I tried to cross but the buses won’t let me. They were parking, turning, moving at the same time and the chaos continued for half an hour. There were so many other vehicles waiting to go past but the buses were almost blocking them. This is common practice here,“ Padwal said.

Ankush Rathi, another commuter, who has to pass Juna Bazaar every evening, said he has had many close shaves.

“There is a proper signal with timings and vehicles pass according to the signal.On two occasions, I have been almost hit by buses which suddenly decided to move.Two months ago, I almost fell down but regained balance. It was around 9pm and there were no policemen at the intersection. I had to shout at the bus driver. The authorities must do something. These are heavy vehicles and an accident means death,“ Rathi, who lives near Camp area, said.

Commuter Arun Satam said, “These buses drive at top speed on empty roads in Fatimanagar. Seldom do they wait for signals, “ Satam added.

PMPML officials said they will seek CCTV footage. “We will identify the buses after getting hold of the footage and nail them. A suspension or a dismissal, may be initiated. We plan to educate the drivers on traffic rules and road safety more frequently,“ another official said.

Source : TOI

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Dams waiting for long spells of rain

10% Stock, No Water Cut As Yet
A few days of good rain for the city, but there has been no long spell in the catchment areas of the four dams that supply water to Pune. The collective water stock in the dams dropped to 10% on Sunday .These dams as of Sunday hold 3.09 TMC water stock which is about 1.26 TMC more than last year’s. Sources in the state irrigation department, said the department would “wait and watch“ for the next few days despite little rain in the catchments areas.

While the stock in Temghar and Varasgaon have not increased from zero per cent, stock in Panshet was recorded at 2.64 TMC. Water in Khadakwasla has dropped to 0.45 TMC.

Sources said Panshet, Varasgaon and Temghar did not record spells of rain in the last 24 hours. The season’s total rainfall in the catchment of every dam was still below 10mm mark, they said.

The city requires about 1.4 TMC water every month. Sources in Pune Municipal Corporation said the administration will have to take a call on curtailing of water supply in the city if rainfall remains subdued in the catchment areas. The civic administration has not imposed water cuts for the city this summer claiming enough stock of water in the reservoirs.

“Dams still have 1.26 TMC more water than last year.There is no need to panic. We are hoping for good spells of rain in the catchment areas in the next few days,“ PMC sources said.

Last year, during the same period four dams collectively had 1.83 TMC water stock. However, stock in the dams had reached the maximum capacities following heavy spells of rain in the last week of June.

Source : TOI

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Now, haphazard parking takes over Shivajinagar

Despite no-parking zone irresponsible citizens are placing vehicles illegally, worsening traffic jams during peak hours
Haphazard parallel parking at the hands of irresponsible citizens has struck again -this time, on the stretch along Modern Engineering College in Shivajinagar. Despite the stretch being declared a no-parking zone by local traffic police, area residents and commuters have been complaining that careless people are parking their vehicles illegally, creating dangers for motorists and pedestrians alike, especially during peak hours. Now, the irate protestors are demanding stringent action against violators of traffic rules, saying that congestion on this route has already become unbearable.Bhushan Patil, a commuter who regularly uses this road, explained, “Traffic police declared the 200-meter stretch from the College of Engineering to Modern College Chowk a no-parking zone, even installing signboards to caution users. Still we see vehicles parked randomly, even below these boards. Most of these belong to students and other visitors who come to the college and school in the area.Thousands of people who come to Jangli Maharaj Road and Ghole Road also use this spot to park vehicles, and there just isn’t enough space for their twoand four-wheelers.“

He elaborated, “Vehicles are strewn around on both sides of the road without bothering if they are an obstruction for movement of traffic, leading to jams. Traffic chaos is a given on this route, and the problem is increasing in the face of the traffic police’s laxity. In fact, two-wheelers being driven on the wrong side of the road are also a common sight here. The traffic department really needs to look into these issues and end the hardships of lawabiding citizens.“

Shankar Damse, police inspector (traffic) for Shivajinagar police station, said, “We conduct drives on a regular basis against no-parking rule violations here. I will instruct my team to increase their attention to this during peak hours and start penalising more lawbreakers. We also seek the cooperation of citizens to park vehicles only in identified parking zones. Action will be taken against those who do not comply.“

If there’s a civic issue you know about or are suffering from, write to us on email at punespeakstomirror@gmail.com and we will try to get it resolved it for you.

Source : TOI

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READY FOR MONSOON? – Rains almost here, but 60% nullahs still to be cleaned

Come monsoon and heavy showers throw rail and road traffic out of gear, besides causing heavy waterlogging across the city.

Many localities go under water, basements of several apartments get inundated, roads submerge, water gushes into homes and shops, and underground cables malfunction, leading to power failure. With water all around, the city stops and citizens are left helpless.

Every year, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) claims that it is fully prepared to face the monsoon.And, every monsoon, the first heavy rain washes away this claim. This monsoon is not going to be any different, thanks to the civic body’s apathy towards pre-monsoon work. This is despite the provision of Rs 98 crore to complete these works, including cleaning of nullahs.

Prim-Move, an agency appointed by the PMC, has found a total of 234 nullhas -with a total length of 362.11km -in the city. Besides this, there are hundreds of natural streams in the city.

Of the 234 nullhas, a 15.93km stretch is fully obstructed, while 51.89km is partially encroached upon.

The PMC has neither touched these encroachments nor cleared the debris dumped into nullhas.

Over the last month, many citizens have dumped garbage in nullahs. “There are huge heaps of garbage in a nullah that runs from Katraj to mid-city areas. Developers have also dumped debris into this, which is going to block the free flow of water,“ said resident Ramesh Kathe. He added that instead of clea ring the garbage, PMC employees are setting it on fire.

PMC’s official document, the city development plan, states that the development along nullahs has not taken place in a scientific and planned manner, resulting in the emergence of areas, which are prone to flooding even when rainfall is of moderate frequency . “The demand for land has increased, which has affected natural drains.The width has been reduced at many places due to encroachment, seriously affecting the carrying capacity of many drains,“ the plan says.

Head of the PMC’s water department, V G Kulkarni, said, “ Nullah cleaning is the responsibility of ward offices“. When TOI contacted a few ward offices, they said they were struggling to carry out nullah cleaning as budgetary provisions have not yet reached them.

“The budget approval by the PMC general body was delayed, and we had no money to pay contractors till the last few weeks. Almost 60% of nullah cleaning is pending,“ an official from a ward office said.

Mayor Mukta Tilak told TOI, “ I am going to conduct a review meeting on Thursday .It is a fact that the delay in approval of budget has further detained some work. But due to the civic election process, the delay was unavoidable“.

Source : TOI

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At 5 TMC, current stock in dams highest in 4 yrs

Enough To Last Till July, Say Officials
The stock in four dams that supply water to the city and its rural parts has dropped below 5 TMC before the monsoon this year, but it is still the best in the last four years, irrigation officials said on Sunday .The collective water storage in Temghar, Panshet, Varasgaon and Khadakwasla was recorded at 4.81 TMC, which was 16% of the total 29 TMC.

Last year, in the same period, these dams had a mere 2.91 TMC water. In 2015 and 2014 the stock was recorded at 4.5 TMC and 3.21TMC.

The irrigation department’s statistics state that since 2014, the collective stock has never remained above 20% around the last week of May .

In fact, last year, the water levels were the lowest in four years and had dropped alarmingly to 9%. This year, the si tuation appears much better as the collective water stock has been around 16% ahead of the monsoon.

Better stocks in the dams has prompted the irrigation department and civic administration not to impose water cuts for the city.

Guardian minister Girish Bapat had said there was no need to initiate a water cut as dams had enough water stock to meet the city’s requirement till July 15 while the irrigation department came out with calculations to set aside the water stock till mid-July after relea sing water for summer crops.

An official from the department said, “This year’s sufficient storage led to release of water during summer.The ongoing release will be stopped next week after which the entire stock in the dams will be stored for drinking needs. At present, only Panshet and Khadakwasla have live water storage. The stock in Temghar and Varasgaon has already hit zero per cent,“ the official said.

Sources said water levels in June and July will be better.This anticipation is based on the preliminary reports about the timely arrival of rain and a no-deficit monsoon. Dams could receive at least 2 TMC water if the monsoon remains vigorous in the initial phase.

Meanwhile, the department will decide about further action on water supply if the catchment areas receive deficient rain in June and July .

Less rain could prompt authorities to initiate water cuts.

The onus is also on the civic administration and citizens to avoid misuse and wastage of water, the source said.

Source : TOI

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Existing fleet & not AC buses priority: Mundhe

Transport Body’s Focus Is On IT-Based Services
Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) chairman and managing director Tukaram Mundhe has downplayed the need for air-conditioned buses for the city but added that 100 public transport buses, which have been lying defunct in the workshop, will be made roadworthy within the next two months.Mundhe told TOI that the important issue at hand was ensuring that buses in the existing fleet were made fit to be used on road.

“It is a fact that the PMPML wants new buses. But one has to keep in mind and work towards a system in which the existing fleet is made operational. As far as AC buses are concerned, they will come but then we have to create a proper infrastructure for them so that they run successfully and don’t develop tech nical problems. PMPML is currently working towards achieving the same. The focus is on information technology guided systems,“ Mundhe said.

Senior officials, during a meeting on Tuesday , expressed displeasure over the fact defunct buses have not been made operational even more than a month after he joined and despite the fact that new plans had been made for their revival in terms of maintenance.

“There are 100 buses which are non-functional at this moment as their bodies are old and worn out. They are in no posi tion to hit the road. We are looking at options on whether the body building can be done locally or some agency needs to be appointed for the same. We expect to make them roadworthy within two to three months.About the AC buses, one can say that they will come as well as several new buses of different kinds. However, we should give these projects more time rather than just rush into things,“ Mundhe said.

In earlier talks, Jugal Rathi, president of the PMP Pravasi Manch, had also echoed the same view. “When the BRT project was in a testing stage years’ back, PMPML had bought some AC buses and their operations were started. However, within months’, the buses developed snags and they are still lying in the workshop. The focus should be on better use of existing fleet rather than bringing new buses right now,“ Rathi had said.

Mundhe said he does not want a repeat of the earlier incident. “The resources and money cannot be wasted. Several things need to be taken care of before new buses are introduced,“ the senior official said.

Source : TOI

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Fatimanagar residents fume over dust from drainage line digging

The residents of Fatimanagar have flagged concerns over the rising dust pollution because the Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) contractor has left the work of laying the underground drainage line incomplete on a 300m road from the Diamond Bakery Lane to Manish Darshan on the PuneSolapur highway.

The construction work of laying the drainage line started more than a month ago, but it is going at a snail’s space. The places where the road has been dug up have not been tarred and the rising dust pollution has made the life of residents miserable and impacted business as well.

Businessman Saifuddin Hamza Khalil said, “The laying of drainage line has stopped since a week. I spray water in the morning and evening on the mud accumulated outside my shop to control dust pollution but in vain. The situation has deteriorated because the PCB has stopped cleaning the road.“

Resident Rajesh Changediya said, “It has become difficult for us to operate because of dust pollution as the work of drainage line is going on for more than a month.To skip traffic signal, motorists coming from Pune-Solapur highway take a left turn from Manish Darshan apartment to reach Fatimanagar and Wanowrie. The passing of vehicles increase dust and noise pollution.“ “The dust pollution can be curbed if the traffic police installs no entry sign boards and bans plying of vehicles coming from Manish Darshan temporarily till the PCB tars the road,“ Changediya suggested.

BSNL sub divisional engineer S S Raut said, “Around 40 consumers were affected as three cable lines between Deshpande hospital and Krishna apartments were damaged because of the laying of drainage line. We have started repairing the lines after the PCB contractor refused to bear the expenses.“

D N Yadav, PCB chief executive officer, said, “The work of laying the drainage line started late after the tenders were finalised in February, 2017. The contractor had stopped the work because of technical reasons such as the financial year came to an end on March 31. We have now approved the budget in the new financial year to continue with the work in the general body meeting held around two days ago. I have issued a work order to the contractor and work will start in two days’ time. As soon as the project is completed we will tar the road and the problem of dust pollution will be solved.“

PCB elected member Vinod Mathurawala said, “The drainage line has been replaced after a span of 45 years to resolve problems of choking as large number of residential apartments have come up here. The contractor is taking time to complete the project as water lines and electricity cables were damaged while digging the road.We have restored the repaired water lines and electricity cables on a priority to avoid inconvenience to residents.“

Source : TOI

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