STRIKING a discordant note, the Chairperson of the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) Standing Committee, Seema Savale, on Monday demanded that the BRTS route on the Pune-Mumbai Highway be scrapped. Her comments came the same day the PCMC started trial runs on Nigdi-Dapodi route. Threatening that she would be forced to file an FIR against the PCMC administration even if one accident takes place, Savale said she hoped that civic officials would rethink about starting the route.
Speaking to the Pune Newsline, Savale said her opposition is because the PCMC has not taken adequate safety measures on the route. “Therefore, I don’t understand the urgency being shown by the PCMC administration to go ahead with first the trial run and then the actual commercial run,” she said. Savale added that she had first raised the issue of lack of safety measures on the route, which could endanger lives of other commuters and even pedestrians, in 2013.
“At that time, the PCMC had decided to conduct a safety audit. For this, it had appointed IIT-Powai. Although the PCMC claims that it has taken safety measures as recommended by IIT-Powai, they are not visible on the route,” she said.
Savale said that in 2013, she and her team had conducted a survey of the route. “The entry and exit points are most vulnerable. Hundreds of vehicles take left and right turns from the express lanes to come on to the service lanes and then move inside the suburbs. The PCMC administration still has not done anything, or rather, it seems to have no clue as to what to do with the entry and exit points,” she said.
The route, Savale said, should be scrapped as it was causing snarls and inconveniencing commuters. “I am not against other routes. But I am strongly opposed to the highway BRTS route,’’ she said.
The PCMC BRTS in-charge, Vijay Bhojne, said: “Today (Monday), officials already conducted a trial run for 25 km and we found everything in order. There was not a single accident. Tomorrow, we will be taking journalists to show them the route.’’ Bhojne added that on January 6, IIT-Powai will conduct a safety review of the route.
“We will submit its report to the High Court and are expecting to start the actual run on the BRTS route around January 26,” he said.