July 22, 2009 4:49:52 am
The decision of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation to reserve special parking space and that too for free along the Pune-Mumbai highway has come in for fulsome praise from citizens,especially,two-wheeler riders whose life had been made miserable by the traffic police. The Asheesh Sharma-led PCMC administration is coming up with parking lots along the entire stretch of the highway under its jurisdiction. For starters,the civic administration will set up eight parking lots and later as per the demand and requirement,would increase the parking lot strength.
Along the highway at Pimpri and outside Big Bazaar in Chinchwad,parking had become a major issue. Almost everyday citizens had to indulge in quarrel with the traffic police,who tried to put jammers or tow away their vehicles. Many citizens had their brand new two-wheelers damaged while being towed away by the police. They got no compensation whatsoever. The sight of citizens,especially women,in tears and anger writ large on their faces was common even as their costly vehicles were mercilessly carted away by the traffic police and their appointed boys. The police on their part argued that the vehicles were lifted because they were parked in no parking zones and helped in reducing chaos. Citizens on the other hand demanded appropriate space for parking. However,everything boils down to the fact that the PCMC had forgotten to set up parking lots when it planned the Rs 300 crore Pune-Mumbai highway complete with grade separators — a fact conceded by the commissioner himself.
The sentiments of long aggrieved citizens in Pimpri-Chinchwad are best expressed in the words of Sanjeevani Pandey,a housewife from Chinchwad. “On behalf of all housewives,many many thanks,Mr Sharma…,” said the SMS sent by Sanjeevani Pandey to the municipal commissioner. “Whenever I travelled to the Big Bazaar area or the ICICI Bank,I had frightening moments when it came to parking my vehicle…Sharma’s decision will ease the big headaches of citizens,especially,housewives like me who have to carry their children while doing shopping or for some domestic work,” said Pandey,who sent the SMS after Pune Newsline highlighted PCMC free parking plan on the highway
Lauding Sharma’s decision,Shridhar Chalka,a resident of Nigdi,said he too had a harrowing moment at Chinchwad. “The traffic police charged Rs 300 and did not even issue a notice…I will say the dadagiri of the traffic police has now come to end,” he said. Raju Jawalkar,a resident of Kasarwadi,too had long argument with the police before his two-wheeler was let off by the police. Describing it as the best move any PCMC commissioner,D G Baliga,a resident of Pimpri,said Sharma should also put up similar boards on the stretch from Pimpri chowk to Pimpri Camp where traffic chaos has been rising by the day.
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When contacted,the municipal commissioner said the free parking move will continue. “It’s a concept which is being implemented with a purpose. We don’t want to disuade people from coming to Pimpri-Chinchwad. We want more and more people to visit the twin industrial town and get a feel of the facilities available,” he said.
The parking lots can be identified by their colour — green and yellow — which is as per the international norms,said Sharma.
As many as 50 vehicles both two-wheelers and cars can be parked in the lots which will be available throughout the length of the highway. As there will be nobody manning the parking lots,citizens will have to park at their own risk.
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