Pedestrians, particularly students of the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), will soon be able to cross the busy Ganeshkhind Road with ease, as there is a plan to build a foot overbridge (FoB) near the Millennium Gate. The FOB is planned as part of the Hinjewadi — Shivajinagar Metro route in the city. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to lay the foundation stone for this project — which will be executed by the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) — on December 18.
“An FoB will be erected outside the Millennium Gate along Ganeshkhind Road, to facilitate a smooth walkover for students, pedestrians, staffers and officials of Raj Bhavan,” Vasant Salunke, Comptroller of the Governor’s Household, told The Indian Express.
Earlier, office-bearers of both the Raj Bhavan and PMRDA had discussed the need for building such an FoB, as pedestrians find it difficult to wade through traffic underneath the multi-lane flyover at this busy junction. The decades-old flyover has, however, not managed to ease the heavy traffic flowing in from Aundh, Baner, Pashan, Senapati Bapat Road and Shivajinagar.
Moreover, to facilitate the construction of a Metro station along this route, 371 square metre land along the Raj Bhavan’s boundaries on Baner Road will be transferred to PMRDA.
FoB is a solution for traffic woes, but a limited one
Despite the multi-lane flyover built over a decade ago, traffic congestion takes place frequently at the city's busiest junctions. Work on the Pune Metro project, on the Hinjewadi — Shivajinagar stretch, is going to start soon, and this will exacerbate traffic woes. While the proposed foot overbridge will make crossing Ganeshkhind Road easier, the condition of other roads is not expected to see much change.
“The PMRDA promised to ensure that the safety of the premises would not be compromised, given that the Metro station is planned adjacent to the Raj Bhavan. After all due considerations, the permission for the land transfer was granted,” said Salunke.
The Maharashtra Governor’s office had put forward certain conditions before agreeing to give away the land, such as construction of the Metro station must not cause any kind of noise pollution for the Governor’s residence, and the staircase and other open spaces at the station must be designed in such a manner that there is no breach of security or privacy of the state’s first citizen.