Will grade separators upgrade the city?
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PMC has allocated money and come up with new plans to 'combat' traffic snarls. But the question is ó Will they really help or create more problems for commuters?
A lot is being done in Pune to help develop the city. But not everything will really help the people here, citizens feel.
Grade separators are an example.
The budget presented by Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) standing committee chairman Baburao Chandere has earmarked Rs 26.80 crores for the construction of nine flyovers and grade separators, a majority of which will centre around Baner. Four of these grade separators are to be constructed on Baner Road itself.
While Chandere had stoutly defended the need for grade separators, claiming that they are essential for solving the problem of traffic congestion, not everyone is convinced. From past experience, people in the city feel they might pose more problems for commuters. The grade separators at Sancheti Chowk and Pimpri Chinchwad are already inviting much criticism for the inconvenience they are causing to pedestrians. Now, this idea of five more grade separators has raised the hackles of many in the city.
Chandere, while speaking on the need for grade separators, maintained that they are necessary given the traffic snarls that pose problems on Baner Road almost every evening.
"Due to the large number of offices in Baner, lot many people come here every day. During the morning and evening hours, massive traffic snarls are caused which could be dealt with through these grade separators," he said.
However, local residents and road safety experts point out that these grade separators have not done much to facilitate commuting in the city, particularly at Sancheti Chowk, where it created more problems than solving them.
Some senior officers of PMC do admit that this was not a well-though out plan. No special feasibility study was undertaken before constructing the grade separator and these were not part of the original Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) of the city either. In fact, the five proposed grade separators were most certainly not part of the CMP.
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