In a letter to the PMC, residents have proposed an alternative to the road widening to unclog roads in the area. (File Photo)
Written by Jayali Wavhal
Some residents of Ideal Colony in Kothrud are opposed to the proposed widening of a road in their locality. They say at least 20 per cent of the land, which functions as the common playground in the colony, cumulatively owned by 40 residential societies, will be gone if the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) widens the road. The proposal will also affect the local drainage system and lead to felling of trees, they said.
In a letter to the PMC, residents have proposed an alternative to the road widening to unclog roads in the area. The letter stated that until a few years ago, people could travel from Karve Road to Paud Road through surrounding colonies like Anandnagar Society and Navketan Society. But since the roads in these colonies were closed a few years ago, traffic in the area has become clogged.
The letter proposes that if these roads are opened up and strategically placed only as one-way streets or two-wheeler streets, traffic management could become easier, nullifying the need to widen the road.
“A wide street connecting Paud Road to Karve Road has been blocked because of a bungalow’s compound. This street can be unblocked, which will prevent unnecessary construction of new roads or wastage of civic resources,” the letter stated.
Makarand Ketkar, a resident of the society, said, “At least 400 trees will have to be cut down because of the unnecessary road expansion. The drainage system will be rebuilt entirely because of which all of us will suffer, which isn’t feasible. The playground for children will be compromised, too. The traffic situation can be fixed by opening up existing roads, not by building more.” He also said children and senior citizens won’t be able to cross the road easily if it is widened from 9 metres to 18 metres. New roads are also likely to invite hawkers and pop-up businesses, which will make the colony vulnerable, he said.
Some residents have demanded that the PMC should use the existing roads and if needed, can build 9-metre roads with a 1.5-metre footpath on each side, while conserving as many trees as possible. Though the PMC hasn’t yet responded to the letter, MP Anil Shirole, and corporators Muralidhar Mohol, Vasanti Jadhav and Medha Kulkarni, have announced their support to the residents.
Shirole and Mohol held a meeting with representatives of Ideal Colony on December 4, during which they promised to set up a meeting between Mayor Mukta Tilak, Municipal Commissioner Saurabh Rao and residents, to discuss their issues.