Pune’s march towards becoming a Smart City is underway with work on the infrastructure having started…
However, problems and inconvenience to citizens on a daily basis is testing their patience enormously. While they agree that the future of the city is extremely important, they feel that the pace of the work and lack of systematic handing is causing havoc.
Some of the flyovers have missed their target and there have been protests which have blocked the smooth handling of the metro system.
Many roads in the city are also damaged and not much work has been in initiated in this regard.
Pune citizens are by nature very patient but facing some sort of hardship daily is now pushing their blood pressure levels.
“I am losing at least half an hour daily due to these works,” says Madhumita Chatterji, 40, an advertising executive who lives in Pimpri-Chinchwad and works in the City area.
“I have rescheduled my daily routine to leave early every day to make up time. The work on the metro has blocked at least one portion of the road in our area and the traffic just crawls.
“I feel the work is progressing in a haphazard manner and there are no periodic updates on it. The authorities set a target but don’t meet it and let things drift.
They only scramble towards the finish line and most times, fail in their endeavour,” Madhumita adds.
Mohini Madgulkar, 39, a singer, who lives in Deccan Gymkhana, feels the planning and completion time go out of the window once the project kicks off.
“If we set targets, it must be met give a few days here and there. But the authorities are not bothered, that is the impression I get. After the initial enthusiasm, it just dies down.
“The traffic has become chaotic wherever the work is in progress. As it is, the traffic is situation is bad in Pune during peak hours and at these spots it is nightmarish. Might as well take a quiet nap until you can inch forward,” Madgulkar quips.
Sanjeev Kale, 57, an accountant who works in Lullanagar is fed up with the whole situation there.
“In recent days, the road on one side has been narrowed considerably causing chaos all over. There are trucks, buses and SUVs traversing this portion of the road along with all other kind of vehicles.
The noise and the din there during peak hours can cause a man to have a heart attack.
“This could have been tackled better and in a more orderly way but it hasn’t been done so. Outside Gera Junction building, the parking has been eliminated altogether which is good but it still doesn’t seem effective.
And some who ride without licences try to squirm out of the way of the policemen who hover there to catch rule breakers. It’s madness out there daily,” Kale added
Suresh Gaikwad, 49, an auto-rickshaw driver is fed up doing his job during the peak hours.
“I never refuse a fare and that means that I have to go through areas where there are infrastructure projects in progress.
But those are nightmare rides for me. Even my patience is running out and I may be forced to give up trips to those parts for the sake of my health,” Suresh added.
“Systematic work can eliminate many stumbling blocks if implemented seriously. But the usual government apathy sets in. The “chalta hai’ attitude prevails everywhere,” says PK Singh, 49, a civil engineer.
‘It would be great if we could form a citizens’ forum to solve these matters with the authorities to make them see the encumbrances they cause.
We probably have the bumpiest roads in the country. Let’s provide quality too at the construction stage itself.
“A weekly update on the work areas and some advice on predicted traffic could be put out on the radio on a daily basis. Alternative routes could also be given. This will help the citizens no end.
If we are going the smart way, then let us start this too like other countries,” he added.
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