How much does Pune care for its prime road like the ever-teeming Jangli Maharaj Road ? Throw this question at the Pune Municipal Corporation and it probably does not seem to bother.
While the central part of the Jangli Maharaj Road seems to be motorable but equally dangerous in the absence of proper speed-breakers, its shoulders look bruised, battered and bleeding.
Right from Barve Chowk to Natraj chowk, footpath on both sides of the road is either missing or is in a tattered state. The tiles have either come off or the unused are lying scattered, further hampering the free movement of pedestrians. Wherever foothpath looks in better shape, a stinking pool of water is a common sight.
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Outside the Modern school where hundreds of students can be found moving around in the evening after school hours, there is no footpath. They practically stand on part of the road where the vehicles zoom at break-neck speed. The students get a fright while crossing the road as the speed-breaker has gone flat. Similarly, outside the Sancheti Hospital, engineering students can be seen running for their life while crossing the road at the blind corner. Outside the Jangli Maharaj temple too, the footpath is clearly missing, putting the life the devout at risk.
The gigantic trees, which give Jangli Maharaj Road a soothing touch in the sweltering sun, are not exactly the place where a profusely sweating citizen can rest under its shade. Reason: the tree guards have become a dumping ground for garbage. Shockingly, the concrete colourful tree guards which were part of PMC’s beautification plan of Jangli Maharaj Road have developed severe cracks. Almost all of them on both sides of the road are slowly coming apart. “Just imagine the state of Pune’s most important road like the Jangli Maharaj Road… if PMC can’t keep one prime road in good state, what can you expect from it about other roads?” asks N Shelar, a resident of Shivijanagar.
Prashant Inamdar of Pedestrians First is equally scathing in his attack on PMC. “The J M Road is neither walkable, usable nor is safe for pedestrians. The PMC is least bothered about its state,” he says.
Citing PMC’s alleged care-a-damn attitude, Inamdar says,”When PMC was trying to put tiles on the footpath, there was opposition to it. The reason was that they were bathroom tiles and then PMC was laying them on a concrete layer. This was very costly proposal, yet PMC went ahead with it. And now everything has come to a nought.”
When contacted, PMC’s Additional City Engineer Vivek Kharwadkar said he would look into it. “But for state of trees, you should contact the garden department,” he said. Additional Municipal Commissioner Omprakash Bakoria said he would look into both the issues.