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Down: one-way threat to bus utility earning

The traffic police wants one-way traffic on the Fergusson College Road and the Jungli Maharaj Road from March 5; city bus utility Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) is crying foul.

Written by Ranjani Raghavan | Pune |
February 26, 2009 2:17:02 am

The traffic police wants one-way traffic on the Fergusson College Road and the Jungli Maharaj Road from March 5; city bus utility Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) is crying foul. It says it stands to lose close to Rs 64,000 each day on the J M Road,which will add up to approximately Rs 2.3 crore annually.

But the traffic police point out that the one-way rule at Swargate and Golibar Maidan were implemented on the recommendation of PMPML and these have benefited the transport utility in terms of less travel time and have saved them money.

The utility has no problems with the other one-way roads introduced by the traffic police; it says only the J M Road proposal will prove expensive.

In the last two months,the civic bus utility has written twice to the traffic police. “An additional half km will be added to the route. As buses make at least 4,000 trips daily on J M Road,it will be an additional 2,000 km and it costs us Rs 32 a km,” said Sunil Gauli,PMPML’s traffic manager.

DCP traffic Manoj Patil begs to differ: “An additional 450 metres will be added,that’s all,but the benefits for PMPML will be immense,” he said.

“It’s far less than 4,000 trips. They are including the buses travelling between Bal Gandharva and Sancheti Hospital chowk as well — around 1,500 trips; but this stretch will be open on both sides.

“We need to save travel time and it will benefit PMPML in the long run. Every major city has one-way roads. In Mumbai,the entire Fort area has one-way roads and it has decongested traffic in a big way. The only other alternative is a flyover,which will be expensive to build and require large-scale rehabilitation of displaced people.”

He dismissed concerns that FC Road would not be able to bear the additional traffic load. “Even that road has been made one-way; its capacity has doubled now.”

According to PMPML,over 270 buses start from the Corporation bus stop and pass through J M Road. These buses will now have to take Fergusson College Road,where already 11 buses make over 230 trips daily. The PMPML traffic officials think the FC Road will bear the brunt of this move.

The company also fears commuter backlash because of the extended routes that buses will eventually have to take to the Corporation bus stop,once the stretch between Bal Gandharva Chowk and Garware Bridge Chowk on J M Road is off limits for buses coming towards PMC.

Patil,though,said Tukaram Paduka Chowk on FC Road will face minor problems. “This is only a trial run,if it doesn’t work out,we will revert to the old routes,” he said.

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