March 27, 2017 8:42:01 am
A beeline of cars and two-wheelers, struggling to enter the fast-track through grade separators along the old Mumbai-Pune Highway near Pimpri, is becoming an everyday sight. The situation worsens during weekends, leaving the adjacent service road congested.
The residents are blaming the civic body’s frequent changes in the entry and exit points for the confusion, saying that they often end up using the wrong way.
The latest change along this 13-km-long Dapodi-Nigdi route, has been made to the route near Hindustan Antibiotic Limited (HAL) and Kharalwadi, a few metres short of Ambedkar Chowk.
Pranav Jadhav, a resident of Vallabhnagar and a regular on this route, said, “I have been using this route to reach my office in Nigdi. But, ever since the entry to the fast lane has been shifted to Pimpri, I have been facing heavy congestion here and end up losing about 10 to 15 minutes during peak hours.”
About two months ago, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) had made the entry point from fast lane near HAL into an exit point and the exit point near Pimpri was turned into an entry point for commuters from service roads.
However, this alteration, which civic officials said was undertaken with consultation with the traffic department, has become nothing less than a nightmare for regular commuters.
On why the changes were adopted, officials blamed the commuters coming via the newly-constructed subway near Sai Chowk. They said the commuters misused the earlier entry point, which was closer to this exit point. “Since too many accidents were being reported due to the misuse of the lane, we had to make changes,” said Vijay Bhojane, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) spokesperson of PCMC.
Meanwhile, civic officials denied any traffic issues along this route, while agreeing that the newly-constructed entry and exit points were narrower than required. “It is being observed that the lanes allowing vehicles in and out of the fast track have been constructed narrower than required… leading to traffic backlog. We will study the situation on the ground,” said Bhojane.
Riding on the wrong side is the root cause for all this mess, said Balkrishna Pandit, another daily commuter. “Only if the wrong side riding was strictly punished, then the service road would not have been so congested. Also, the entry and exit points would have been free traffic,” he added.
Traffic department too, is having a tough time dealing with wrong side riders. “Two-wheeler riders often take wrong route and enter the fast track from an exit point. This leads to traffic snarls for few minutes,” stated an official from the Pimpri division.
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