January 16, 2009 2:02:26 am
For citizens of Pune used to braving congested roads and chaotic traffic situations every day,the crackdown by the city traffic police on the illegal entry of inter-city luxury buses into the city has indeed come as a huge and welcome relief.
In the last two weeks three luxury buses were stopped from plying on its inter-city route for 90 days and Rs 10 lakh recovered as fine in the last few days by the traffic police.
The traffic police have identified 102 roads,especially narrow ones,within the heart of the city where heavy vehicles including luxury buses have been banned. In September 2007,The Indian Express had highlighted the chaos created by the inter-city buses on the city roads in a series of stories titled Chaotic Pune. At that time,both the civic administration and city police had assured action against errant bus services.
The traffic police and the Regional Transport Authority identified several places last month where heavy vehicles were allowed to park.
Our action against the inter-city bus service operators would be an ongoing one since they lead to immensely chaotic situation on the congested city roads, said DCP (Traffic) Manoj Patil. The traffic police and the civic body are in discussions for providing convenient parking space for the buses on the outskirts,he added.
On the city roads,commuters who used to get bogged down by presence of these luxury buses,like IT professional Shrickant Gangoda,expressed their relief at the police action. The inter-city buses block the traffic on the congested roads, he said. For Archana Jadhav,a lecturer in a city college,the decision to keep out the inter-city buses means a lot as her daily commuting route from Swargate to Pune railway station had locations where the inter-city bus operators used to pick up passengers.
Civic activist Vivek Velankar stressed the need for keeping the inter-city buses away from entering the congested city lanes.
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