With illegal vehicles plying on the main roads,travelling in the city after 8 pm is nothing short of a nightmare,complain citizens.
Private buses are not allowed inside Pune city limits,but at night,they ply on various routes inside the city leading to chaos at the main junction.
Buses plying on the Pune-Ahmednagar route are supposed to start from Sangamwadi and not enter Pune city. But every night after 8 pm,the buses can be seen queued up on the road outside Ruby Hall Clinic. This blocks the traffic on the road, said Mohit Kumar,an IT professional who stays in the area.
Even later in the night,these vehicles can be seen parked on the road, he added.
The buses can also be seen parked for hours at a stretch on the Pune-Nashik Road near Bhosari flyover and Ganeshkind Road near Hotel Centurion. Sometimes,traffic police percossel catch them but they are let off and the chaos continues, said Tejal Dudhale who frequently takes a bus to Nashik,her hometown.
No private vehicle is allowed to enter the city. As per the law,once they start from their starting point,they are not supposed to halt anywhere. Sometimes they indulge in illegal halting to get more passengers. Whenever we see any vehicle illegally parked inside the city,we penalise them, said Vishwas Pandhare,DCP,Traffic Police.
For a passenger staying at Wakad,it is impractical to come to Shivajinagar and catch a bus for Mumbai because eventually the bus will go through Wakad. We are talking to the Pune Municipal Corporation about making transport hubs at various main points where there is a lot of traffic,such as Balewadi,Wagholi,Aundh and Hadapsar. Soon,the plans will materialise. Then there will be place for private buses,private vehicles and state transport at one place,so regulating them will not be difficult. The passengers will then have convenient boarding places, added Pandhare.
Apart from the 700-odd private buses that ply on the city roads at night,another problem is the private four-wheelers that run on the roads causing traffic snarls at places such as Swargate,Hadapsar,Chandni Chowk and outside Pune station.
There are around 15,000 tourist permit vehicles in the city. This includes both state and national permits. We understand that there are many vehicles that run on without tourist permit. We do crack down on them every month,but there are many practical difficulties. To nab these cars,one passenger has to give a statement about being asked for money. But when we ask the passengers,they lie and say they are related to the driver and no money was taken. Without a statement,we cant penalise them, said Arun Yeole,Regional Transport Officer.
The regional transport office is in talks with the authorities to have place for themselves in the transport hubs proposed at various points in the city.
Checking vehicles on the highway is not possible as it disrupts traffic. We dont have any place to keep the penalised vehicles. And it takes 45 minutes to reach the RTO,where the vehicle is kept till the owner pays the fine. We have less manpower,making it harder to nab the wrongdoers. We need a place at the transport hubs where these vehicles can be kept, added Yeole.