Yesterday’s newspaper, I’m sorry to report, awakened in me a sense of deep disquiet and some considerable unease. Bear with me, dear reader, while I report to you what the newspaper contained, and see if you don’t experience similar emotions yourself.
Here, in a nutshell, is the issue: the government is considering what to do about the University flyover. And if that doesn’t give you the heebie-jeebies, nothing will.
Anybody even remotely familiar with Pune knows about the cluster-four-letter-word that is the Pune University Flyover. Deployed in the year 2007, it lies at the junction of three main roads: Pashan Road, Baner Road and Ganeshkhind road. These roads all merge into one at this junction, and an estimated four quadrillion vehicles pass over, under and around this flyover daily. Of the four quadrillion, fully ninety-nine percent pass through in the morning and evening in two hour slots each. During these two sets of two hours, the better angels of our nature abandon us, and chaos, depravity and pure undiluted anarchy rule the roost. If you want to see what humanity bereft of civilization looks like, look no further that this spot during said time slots. Be warned, though: it is not a pretty sight.
If you think I have been rather liberal with the poetic license us columnists are issued on a weekly basis, I invite you to drive a car through said area at, say, seven in the evening on a weekday. We’ll talk after you’ve finished burying the bodies of your victims.
Now, the trouble is, the government plans to build a Metro line through this area. In addition, there is also a proposed HCMTR that will traipse its merry way through here. Quite what HCMTR is, I do not know. I know it stands for High Capacity Mass Transit Route, or some such, but what it means in practice, I do not have the foggiest. I don’t think anyone does. Not that this will stop them from building it, of course.
For all of these things to be built, whatever they mean, what stands currently must be demolished. And while no one, bar none, has even the tiniest bit of love for the flyover, they will still not want it to be destroyed. For the destruction, and eventual reconstruction of whatever comes up in its place, will result in traffic jams of a nature and scale that existence itself can’t bear to contemplate.
The trouble is, without destroying it, I don’t see how anything else can be built. And if it is not to be destroyed, traffic in those parts will continue to become worse with every passing second. There is, in other words, no solution to the conundrum – and not solving the conundrum is an unbearable thought.
But, and this is the part that occasions deep disquiet and some considerable unease, whether they do something about it or not, they will find a way of making a truly horrible situation even worse. That much, I and every other Punekar, can undoubtedly assure you.
We wait in horrified anticipation.
He doesn't expect the paradox to be resolved in his lifetime