Lullanagar flyover plan gets defence land

After a delay of more than five years, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has got possession of the land marked for the construction of a flyover in Lullanagar.

The utility was planned in 2011.

Defence Estates Office and the local military authorities today handed over around 7.2 acres around the Lullanagar junction near Kondhwa to the road department. The construction is expected to begin in a few months.

According to the agreement between the agencies, PMC is also required to pay around Rs 30,000 to Pune Cantonment Board in land licensing fees for a 30-year period.

The civic body also has the responsibility to shift assets and utilities from the defence lands, and undertake construction of an underpass and service roads to complement the movement of traffic in and around the area.

Most land-related formalities have been completed, officials said, including agreements over the licence fees of the land to be paid to various authorities.

“Today , my office and the local military authorities handed over the requisite and agreed upon land as sanctioned by the Ministry of Defence to Pune Municipal Corporation for building a flyover and service road at the Lullanagar chowk. The project will be entirely executed by PMC,“ Defence Estates Offi cer (Pune) DN Yadav said.

Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar will be present on Saturday for the bhoomipujan.

Multiple agencies and jurisdictions have hindered the construction of the 490-metre long, 15-metre wide flyover, which, according to locals, is “extremely necessary“.

The junction is the intersection of the BibvewadiKondhwa Road and the Par vati Road, thus bringing in heavy traffic from Market Yard and Cantonment areas, and sees huge traffic snarls every day. It is the arterial road leading to Kondhwa and the newly developed areas of Undri, Pisoli and Mohammedwadi.

While the project was planned by the PMC, significant parts of land around the area required for construction belonged to the military authorities and are under the management of Pune Cantonment Board (PCB).

The PMC approved a plan for the flyover and issued work order to start its construction in 2011, but local military authorities issued an order to the civic body in January 2012 saying that the road belonged to the MoD, and no construction can be undertaken without clearances. The next two years did not yield any breakthrough, in spite of several rounds of talks.

Defence minister Manohar Parrikar had backed the flyover ever since he took office in 2014, and this March, his ministry agreed to hand over control of the 7.2678 acres demanded by PMC for construction. However, it did not relinquish control over the land.The MoD also provided the PMC working permission to start construction.

Source : TOI



Day watch on speeding, night vigil missing

RTO Mobile Squads Have Booked 1,765 Drivers Since June On The Expressway
It won’t kill to slow down, but on the expressway few drivers watch the speedometer swing dangerously to the right.On its part, the Regional Transport Office (RTO) has booked about 1,765 cars for speeding on the Pune-Mumbai expressway in the last two months during the day .

A night vigil to catch speedsters and on-the-spot action against errant drivers will begin soon.

The severity of accidents has fanned the need for round-the-clock vigil on the expressway . Six youths were killed on Tuesday when their car overturned on the expressway . Kamshet police said the car skid on its roof for 150 feet before halting.

On May8 this year, Ganesh Tanaji Mate and Omkar and three others were injured after their car crashed into a median near Ozarde bridge.The driver lost his control over the steering wheel and the car flipped a few times before halting.

On June5, 17 people died and 33 others were injured near Shedung when their luxury bus rammed two cars, went off the road and landed in a fi eld around 15 feet below the expressway . The bus first hit two stationary cars parked on the roadside and then went off the road.

An RTO official on Wednesday said they had started the day with checks and after assessing its effect, they will decide on surveillance at night. At present, the RTO’s two mobile vans, equipped with the cameras, take up surveillance. They capture photographs of speeding vehicles and those changing lanes dangerously .

Ajit Shinde, deputy regional transport officer at Pimpri Chinchwad RTO, said, “Checks have been more vigorous in the last two months for speeding and lane-cutting.Our inspectors travel on the expressway in mobile vans throughout the day . So far, our cameras have caught over 1,765 vehicles for speeding.There is no on-the-spot action as of now. The cameras capture the registration number of a vehicle and we send a notice to the owner.“ Shinde said on-the-spot action against speeding vehicles is not feasible because the mobile van, which is installed with the camera, cannot chase each vehicle because of the risk _ the driver may speed even more to avoid the officials or panic.

“Our vehicles cannot speed to catch these vehicles. If there is a chase, it could lead to breaking of more rules by the errant driver who can try to run away to avoid action,“ he added. Notices are the best deterrents and respective RTOs must take action, he said.

Action against speeding is possible only on long stretches when a vehicle is in full speed. No action can be taken against those vehicles near the toll plaza as they slow down while approaching the toll lanes.

Drivers fail to maintain lane discipline on the three lanes on each corridor. An RTO source said rampant cases can be seen wherein even cars make use of left lanes for overtaking which is dangerous.

A retired officer from Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) said, drivers must understand that it is difficult to control a speeding vehicle, when the chances of losing control are highest if sudden brakes are applied or it dashes another vehicle.

Self-control is key on the expressway to avoid accidents due to speeding and dangerous lane cutting, he said.

Source : TOI


Mayor backs one-ways for smooth traffic

Mayor Prashant Jagtap on Wednesday dropped hint at making more city roads oneway to ease traffic congestion though the model was of little help for commuters on FC Road.“We are working on a model of `trafficless city’. Many mayors across the world discussed this concept during an international mayors’ conference in Iran. Based on it, soon a feasibility study would be carried out to convert all major two-ways in Pune into oneway ,“ said Jagtap. A delegation of the elected members of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), including the mayor and the leader of the opposition, attended the mayors’ conference held in Tehran on July 20-21. Apart from mayors, over 100 think tanks and international investors from the UK, US, Italy , Switzerland and other countries participated in the event.

“After travelling to Iran and discussions with the traffic planners, we have mooted the idea of `changing maximum number thoroughfares into one-way’. The civic body will take the lead in this conversion,“ Jagtap told reporters.

He said the mayor’s office would interact with the leaders of other parties as well as the traffic planners and the road department officials. They would draft a basic plan. Then other stakeholders such as traffic police would be involved to make the project successful.

Activists feel that the idea might not prove effective in the city. They observed that nearly seven years ago Jangali Maharaj (JM) Road and Fergusson College (FC) Road were made one-way to improve the overall traffic situation on these arterial roads. But issues like nuisance of roadside hawkers, double-parking and lack of proper facilities for crossing roads has raised questions on the success of the model.

“The concept blanket oneway is not helpful for Pune. Policies should be made keeping all the stakeholders in the mind and not only car and twowheelers riders. Even other road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users are important for traffic solutions,“ said Jugal Rathi, the founder of PMP Pravasi Manch.

He said facilities like good cycle tracks, footpaths, traffic wardens and crossings were promised to ease the traffic, but hardly anything had been implemented.

“If the same thing happens while converting other roads into one-way , it will create further mess in city ,“ he added.

Source : TOI



PEDAL PUSHING – Call to go back in time and make Pune a cycle city

Look around and you’ll see many Mark Twains. The celebrated author took to cycling to keep young when he was in his late 40s.

Over the years, leisure cycling has boomed in the city , with people bringing back the pedal-pushing trend from other places in the world.

When seniors of the city talk about cycling, however, they do it with nostalgia and vivid memories of Pune being a `cycle city’.

Sujit Patwardhan of NGO Parisar, a champion of traffic causes and a senior himself, has seen the golden times of the city . “Pune was among the top cycling cities in the country in the 1970s and 1980s, and cycling was one of the main sources of transport for everyone, of every age group and in every strata,“ he said.

Jugal Rathi, 69, is today known as an evangelist for cycling and public transport, and remembers his school and college days clearly , when there were “a good amount of cycles plying across the city .“ Rathi said, “There were barely two to three motorized vehicles seen, and that too mostly in the Camp areas. All colleges had almost 80% of people using cycles. I cycled to school, college, and even after graduation.“

After using cars and twowheelers like many others in the city , Rathi has now sold all his motorized vehicles and plies only on bicycles.

Town planning experts have noted that in the past there were a few efforts to tap the cycling crowd with support in terms of safety on roads and infrastructure. Popular and congested structures such as Sambhaji Bridge and the Wakdewadi underpass were developed only for cyclists. In fact, an official cycle plan was created in January 1981, with ef forts of the NGO Parisar, by the Traffic and Transportation Cell and Town Planning and Evaluation Department of the state government.

It was called the `The Cycle Project for Pune’, and mapped in detail the signals in the city, average travel speeds of people, accident vulnerabilities and accidents avoided due to operation of the cycle net work. The plan mentioned 35 years ago that the city saw an expansion due to industrial ac tivity. It noted that at the time, “daily commuting was prominent in a radius of 800sqkm”.Post estimation and study from the city residents’ data, an “independent cycle network“ was proposed. Even at the time, the proposal suggested streamlining traffic flow, distributing traffic load evenly and ensuring safe movement for cyclists and pedestrians.

Looking at the traffic situation and the pollution levels in the city now, it is surprising that the seeds to push for making the city cycle-friendly were sown as early as 1981 with special mention to “increasing oil prices and cycling being the most convenient mode on roads“.

In 2013, the then Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) commissioner Mahesh Pathak announced his intent to create a `comprehensive bicy cle plan’. Pathak, however, was unavailable for comment as he is posted with a different government department now.When TOI tried to contact PMC authorities looking after the current `Pune Cycle Plan,’ Srinivas Bonala, chief engineer of traffic planing, JNNURM, said that the fresh plan is underway and work is on.

The 1981 report, in essence, mentions the World Bank’s statement that failure to provide adequately for pedestrians and cyclists would increase demand for expensive motorized transport, and reduce accessibility for those who cannot afford it.

Shriniwas Kulkarni, 69, the owner of the city’s first cycle shop, Kulkarni Cycle Mart, remembers a time when he sold almost 10-15 cycles every day . “During Dussehra and Diwali, it used to rise exponentially with demand escalating to almost 100-1,200 daily . As the admission season started, the first thing students used to do was line up at the cycle shops,“ he said.

There was a time when residents depended only on cycles, and every house had at least three cycles, Kulkarni said.

Kulkarni, who has seen the city change, says he has strong reason to believe that cycling will fall off the map unless steps to increase its popularity and ease are taken.

He was one of the first Indians to have a PhD in cycling trends, with a thesis on `Impact of bicycle industry on mobility of population with reference to Pune city’.

“Now there are either only cycle hobbyists or those who cannot afford other means.There is a strong need to change the mentality and attitude of people towards cycling and there may still be a glimmer of hope that Pune can be known as a cycle city again,“ he said.

Source : TOI



BANER-PASHAN LINK ROAD – Residents seek end to traffic jams

Seeking an end to traffic chaos in their area, residents of Baner-Pashan Link Road have urged the Pune Municipal Corporation to widen the two-way stretch of the road connecting their locality to Aundh, Baner, Hinjewadi and the expressway .

Local corporator Baburao Chandere along with residents of the area on Monday visited the traffic signal near Hotel Mahabaleshwar where frequent traffic jams take place, especially during the morning and evening peak hours.

Residents said traffic jams and long-winding vehicle queues are common here every day . The volume of vehicles using the stretch is much more than the capacity of the road.

Kishore Mahajan, president of Baner-Pashan Link Road Vikas Samiti, said, “The road is too narrow for the thousands of vehicles coming from Pashan, Sus Road and Link Road areas as motorists from these areas use the junc tion to get onto the main Baner Road. More over, the short duration of the traffic signal results in a big bu ild-up of vehicles, especially during peak hours. As a result, motorists start driving down the wrong side of the ro ad to get ahead. This blocks the way of the vehicles turning onto it from the other side. Traffic blockade thus builds up within minu tes.“ Mahajan has sent a letter to the municipal commissioner requesting him to look into the matter.

Chandere said, “ As per the Development Plan, the road was to be 18 metres wide, allowing smooth flow of vehicles, especially for those taking the free left-turn. However, due to an encroachment by a private company , which is adjacent to the crossing, the width of the road has been reduced by six metres.“ “We will take up the matter with the people concerned,“ he added.

Mukund Shinde, junior engineer, building permissions department, PMC, said, “We will have to verify the site demarcation and the alignment of Ramnadi, which flows parallel to the road. If there is an encroachment, notices will be issued to the companies and architects concerned.“

However, road-widening will involve breaking the newly built footpath and shifting the electricity feeder boxes installed by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited.

Source : TOI



“वाहतूक कोंडी’त गुदमरतोय विद्यार्थ्यांचा श्‍वास

शाळा भरण्याच्या आणि सुटण्याच्या वेळेत रस्त्यावर होणाऱ्या “वाहतूक कोंडी‘त सुमारे दीडशे शाळांमधील विद्यार्थ्यांचा श्‍वास गुदमरत आहे. मात्र वाहनांच्या गर्दीने ओसंडून वाहणाऱ्या रस्त्यांमधून विद्यार्थ्यांना सुरक्षितरीत्या मार्ग काढून देण्यासाठी जवळपास 50 शाळांमध्ये विशेष प्रयत्न सुरू आहेत. या संदर्भात “सकाळ‘ने केलेल्या सर्वेक्षणातून हे निदर्शनास आले.

“सकाळ‘ने केलेल्या सर्वेक्षणानुसार चारशेपैकी जवळपास दीडशे शाळांच्या परिसरात शाळा भरण्याच्या आणि सुटण्याच्या वेळेत वाहतूक कोंडीची समस्या भेडसावत असल्याचे दिसून आले. रहदारीच्या रस्त्यालगत असणाऱ्या शाळांच्या स्कूल बस, व्हॅन, रिक्षा यांना पार्किंगसाठी पुरेशी जागा नसल्याने ही वाहने रस्त्यावरच उभी राहतात. विद्यार्थ्यांची वाहनात बसण्याची गडबड, सायकल किंवा पायी जाणाऱ्या विद्यार्थ्यांचा लोंढा, यामुळे रहदारीचा रस्ता काही काळ “पॅक‘ होऊन जातो. परिणामी वाहतुकीचा खोळंबा होत असल्याचे चित्र सर्वेक्षणातून समोर आले. गल्ली-बोळात असणाऱ्या शाळांचीही स्थिती फार काही वेगळी नाही.

शाळांभोवतीची “वाहतूक कोंडी‘ हा प्रश्‍न काही वर्षांपूर्वी मध्यवर्ती भागातील शाळांना अधिक प्रमाणात जाणवत होता. परंतु आता सदाशिव पेठ, नारायण पेठ, शुक्रवार पेठ याबरोबरच उपनगरांमधील शाळांच्या परिसरातही वाहतूक कोंडीच्या समस्येने डोके वर काढले आहे. मात्र विद्यार्थ्यांची ने-आण सुरक्षित व्हावी, यासाठी पन्नासहून अधिक शाळांमध्ये विशेष प्रयत्न केले जातात. शाळेतील क्रीडा शिक्षक, वरच्या वर्गातील विद्यार्थी आणि काही पालकांच्या मदतीने शाळा परिसरात वाहतुकीचे नियंत्रण करण्यात येत असल्याची माहिती काही मुख्याध्यापकांनी दिली, तर शाळांभोवती होणारी वाहतूक कोंडी फोडण्यासाठी पोलिस आणि ट्रॅफिक वॉडर्नचेही सहकार्य मिळावे, अशी मागणी काही मुख्याध्यापकांनी केली आहे.

* शाळेबाहेरील वाहतूक कोंडी अशी सोडवा :
– वरच्या वर्गातील विद्यार्थी, शिक्षक यांच्या समन्वयाने वाहतुकीवर नियंत्रण
– शाळा सुटल्यावर रांगेत विद्यार्थ्यांना बाहेर सोडावे
– प्रत्येक मजल्यावरील वर्ग क्रमाक्रमाने सोडण्यात यावेत
– विद्यार्थ्यांची ने-आण करणाऱ्या वाहनांना मैदानात पार्किंगसाठी जागा द्यावी
– एकाच परिसरात असणाऱ्या शाळांनी भरण्याच्या आणि सुटण्याच्या वेळेत अंतर ठेवावे
– काही पालकांनी स्वत:हून पुढाकार घेत विद्यार्थ्यांना रस्ता ओलांडण्यासाठी मदत करावी
– ट्रॅफिक पोलिस किंवा ट्रॅफिक वॉडर्नची मदत घ्यावी

* वाहतूक कोंडी फोडण्यासाठी हे आवश्‍यक :
– शाळेच्या परिसरात “नो पार्किंग‘ झोन असावा
– बस स्टॉप शाळेपासून काही अंतरावर हवेत
– ट्रॅफिक पोलिस किंवा ट्रॅफिक वॉर्डनचे सहकार्य
– वाहतूक नियंत्रणाचे प्रशिक्षण विद्यार्थी, शिक्षक, पालकांना मिळावे

* शाळेसमोरचा रस्ता तुलनेने छोटा आहे. परिसरात दोन-तीन शाळा आणि महाविद्यालये असल्यामुळे भरपूर गर्दी असते. त्यामुळे शाळेच्या स्कूल बस रांगेत लावल्या जातात. शिक्षकांच्या समन्वयातून विद्यार्थ्यांना रांगेत बाहेर सोडले जाते. वाहतुकीचे नियंत्रण योग्यरित्या व्हावे यासाठी वाहनचालकांची वेळोवेळी बैठक घेऊन त्यांना सूचना दिल्या जातात. त्यामुळे शाळा भरण्याच्या आणि सुटण्याच्या वेळी पंधरा ते वीस मिनिटांत परिसर मोकळा होतो.
– संध्या भांगे, मुख्याध्यापिका, विजयमाला कदम कन्या प्रशाला, एरंडवणे

* परिसरात जवळपास पाच शाळा आहेत. तसेच शाळेबाहेरील आवारात रिक्षा स्टॅंड, स्टॉल्स असल्यामुळे प्रचंड गर्दी असते. वाहतूक कोंडीतून विद्यार्थ्यांना मार्ग काढून देण्यासाठी शिक्षक स्वत: शाळेबाहेर उभे असतात. विद्यार्थ्यांना रांगेत बाहेर सोडले जाते. रस्ता ओलांडण्यासाठीही शिक्षक मदत करतात. शाळेच्या परिसरात ट्रॅफिक वॉर्डन किंवा ट्रॅफिक पोलिस असावा, अशी मागणी वारंवार करण्यात येत असून अद्याप संबंधित प्रशासनाकडून सकारात्मक प्रतिसाद मिळालेला नाही.
– मीनाक्षी पवार, मुख्याध्यापिका, महापालिका शाळा क्रमांक 100 बी, गाडीतळ

– – सकाळ वृत्तसेवा



Slow-moving traffic in Yerawada

Riddled With Staff Crunch, Cops Encourage People To Deploy Wardens
Congestion and chaos on roads have become a regular affair in the areas under the jurisdiction of the grossly understaffed Yerawada traffic division.To overcome the problem, the traffic division is encouraging residents to deploy traffic wardens. While some residents of Kalyaninagar have taken up the suggestion, other couuld follow suit.

Traffic wardens are expected to work along with traffic policemen for fixed hours and in specific locations .

In Kalyaninagar, the work being done on the roads has been creating traffic snarls for a while and now traffic wardens have been deployed on streets to improve the situation in the evenings during hush hour. These wardens have, however, been hired by the residents of the area.

“We recently tied up with a company as a part of a CSR initiative so that traffic wardens can man the roads and we are cooperating with the traffic police as well. However, we feel that there should be more constables in the area to apprehend those flouting rules,“ said a spokesperson for the Kalyaninagar Residents’ Association.

The Yerawada Traffic Division officials admitted that they were understaffed and are encouraging traffic wardens, “I do not have enough constables and I often have to go out and manage traffic myself. We are encouraging the citizens of Vimannagar to bring in traffic wardens and we will cooperate. We also have a traffic plan for the area, which will be implemented soon,“ said Bajirao Muley , the inspector of the division.

Traffic in Kalyaninagar and ViC mannagar areas that are vital arteries to the airport, and also to areas like Vishrantwadi and Khadki, have seen an exponential rise over in vehicular congestion in the past few years. Most roads are not wide enough to handle such traffic, particularly large vehicles like oil tan kers, water tankers and large buses.

Residents complained that the lack of appropriate policing and traffic signals had only made the problem worse.Gross violations of traffic rules by motorists and far too few cops to apprehend them have not helped the situation either.

A lot of the important intersections in the Vimannagar area, such as the Symbiosis and Dorabjee’s intersections, on the Airport Road sometimes have no traffic constables at all, when the situation gets very critical bys tanders have to help out as traffic volunteers. A set of traffic lights were installed at the Datta Mandir intersection in January but they have not been made operational due to a disagreement between other authorities and the police. Police claimed that the area’s streets were “absolutely not compatible“ to traffic lights.

The situation is no much better in Kalyaninagar. Traffic signals are there at the Adlabs intersection but the other intersections, including the Ramwadi subway , are devoid of any traffic lights.

Instances of motorists driving through the unidirectional subway in the wrong direction is also rampant. But most of them go unpunished, claimed residents.

“We have made repeated requests to the local traffic division, and the reply we usually receive is that they are understaffed so we are arranging for traffic wardens in the area.This seems to be the only solution because it will ensure at least some order is restored on the streets,“ said Anita Hanumante of the Vimannagar Residents’ Association.

Source : TOI