In this race to turn smart, Pune seems to be giving its citizens a hard time.
Daily commutes have turned nightmarish for people thanks to the increased traffic and incessant road digging activity. The latest culprit apparently is the huge network of natural gas lines which are being laid in almost every area of the city. The telecom operators, MSEDCL, PMC and others are already astute at digging roads of Pune.
While all this is bandied as the much needed development for the city, are the citizens really happy? If people in the city have to spend long hours on the road consequent to these measures, is this really smart?
Pune365 spoke to senior constituents of these concerned sectors to understand this in perspective:
A.M Tambekar, Managing Director, MNGL opines, ” Its an initiative taken by the recent Government. Natural Gas and oil were not earlier used as much its used today. Since 1987 the usage has increased. Our goal is to provide 1 crore houses with a gas pipeline by 2020.
It’s a central target and cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru and altogether 42 cities are a part of this Project. Around 35 lakh houses in India now have a gas pipeline. Taking about Pune, areas like Kothrud, Bibewadi, Shivaji Nagar, Hadapsar, Bhavdhan, Katraj and kharadi already have gas pipelines. It will approximately take another 2 years to complete this project.
Yes the traffic has increased, but then in India people dont want any inconvenience, but want development too,” Tambekar adds.
“Some projects are necessary for advancement and the gas pipeline project is one among that. Yes, the traffic on the roads of Pune has definitely increased and one reason for that is the road digging and one another major reason is the inefficient Public Transport says, Sujit Patwardhan, Founder of Parisar, a civil society organisation.
The Public transport problem has been overlooked for 20 years. Flyovers are made and Roads are widened, but that is for the feasibility of personal vehicles and buses.
To reduce traffic, PMT should look closely at their buses. Many a times, the buses are parked on roads and they are not maintained well, and that is one major reason for traffic.
Santosh Singh, Store Manager affirms,” I stay in Fatima Nagar and work at Lulla Nagar. It’s been 10 years now, that I moved to Pune and for the past 3-4 years, the traffic has massively increased in Pune.
Earlier it took me 5 to 7 minutes to reach home, but now it takes approximately 20 minutes to cover a distance of 4 km. I believe yes these projects are important but then all projects are started all at one go.
On one hand, roads are dug, the metro project has started, gas lines etc so traffic jams will definitely increase.
I think our government should prioritise on which project should be completed first and then work accordingly.
” I have been driving an Auto-Rickshaw for the past 22 years but now the traffic in Pune has increased majorly. Firstly vehicles have increased in Pune and alot of projects are started at one time.
With already such high number of vehicles, this new digging for projects in many areas has caused major traffic jams says, Mahadev Mankar, Rickshaw Driver.
Recently, when I was leaving a customer to kondwa, there was a heavy traffic jam and we waited for 15 minutes but it didn’t get cleared, Eventually the customer left my rickshaw, it took me more than 30 minutes to pass that traffic.
Neha Sharma, an affected citizen opines,” Traffic jams are a major problem in Pune. And Pune wasnt like this a few years back. Pune’s Peace is lost to jams and incessant honking!
Roads almost everywhere are dug and it leads to such a mess. Government should implement projects but not at the same time. Where are we pedestrians supposed to walk if one half of the road is dug up and the rest jammed with traffic ?