CIVIC activists have urged Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) Commissioner Saurabh Rao to put the Nalstop flyover project on hold and discuss the issues they have raised.
“We have written to you about our serious apprehensions and concerns regarding the proposed double decker flyover proposed by MahaMetro at the Nalstop junction. But there has not been any response from the PMC. You may be aware that several earlier flyover projects of PMC have failed to deliver expected results and the traffic congestion problem at the junction has remained as it is. In fact, in some cases, the problem has even got aggravated. The reasons for the failed projects are providing flyovers where not needed, faulty planning and design,” said Prashant Inamdar, convener of NGO Pedestrians First, in a letter sent last week to Rao, who was not available for comment.
Giving the example of the flyover complex at Swargate, which was built to decongest Jedhe Chowk, Inamdar said traffic congestion at Jedhe Chowk remains high though two flyovers have been constructed in the area. “The PMC does not seem to be learning any lessons from past fiascos. In the process, public money is being wasted and citizens continue to suffer,” he said.
He added, “It is necessary that the PMC should give serious consideration to the issues we have raised regarding the double decker flyover at Nalstop junction, which has been proposed by MahaMetro. As the work on the flyover may begin shortly, we urge the Municipal Commissioner to put the work on hold and arrange an urgent meeting to discuss the matter.”
Civic activists said the PMC has accepted the proposal without conducting any traffic, feasibility, utility and impact studies. “There have also not been any interactions with the public and their suggestions and objections have not been obtained. When the high-cost Metro is being provided on Karve Road with lofty claims that it would substantially reduce the number of vehicles on road, there cannot be any justification for a flyover alongwith the metro,” said an activist.
Activists said their main apprehension is that the Nalstop flyover would create new and serious problems in the area. “For example, the starting point of the flyover looks problematic, being just beyond the SNDT junction and in the vicinity of the Nalstop Metro station. The width of the service road is also inadequate. Considering the width of Karve Road and the width of the two-way flyover with metro pillars at the centre, the residual width available at the flyover ramps for the service roads would be quite less. The width of service roads on either side of the flyover would be inadequate to handle the volume of traffic not using the flyover, especially the high density traffic flow from Law college Road to Kothrud and Paud Road,” said Inamdar.
Local residents said pedestrians will be endangered due to the inadequate width of the footpath. “There is considerable movement of pedestrians on Karve Road, including of school children. Bus commuters have to wait at bus stops on the footpath. There would be additional heavy movement of metro commuters from the Nalstop metro station. Due to lack of space adjacent to service roads, the footpath width would be too inadequate for the volume of pedestrians,” said an activist.