Even as the PMC gets ready to roll out the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) corridor on Ahmednagar Road, the civil society led by Pune City Connect is miffed with the civic body for allegedly rushing through the implementation of the project, which would have a serious fallout. Sakal Times digs deep into the issues surrounding the BRTS Corridor on Ahmednagar Road and possible solutions for ensuring smoother implementation of this project.
Pune: The Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) corridor on Ahmednagar Road is being rolled out by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) in haste, without considering the safety aspects of the commuters and other users, members of industry body Confederation of Indian Industry's (CII) social organisation Pune City Connect (PCC) have alleged.
"If PMC's JNNURM project cell wants successful footfall usage of this BRTS corridor, it must now focus on some very critical issues, which the civic body has so far ignored. The PMC seems to be in a tearing hurry to roll out the BRTS without considering the safety of commuters," Ashwini Malhotra, PCC member and managing director, Weikfield Foods, Pune, told Sakal Times.
Malhotra is also the vice-chairman, CII, Maharashtra State Council.
According to him, completion of all land acquisitions necessary for uniformity of road width, and completion of the long pending Ramwadi underpass is a must.
"Edge to edge completion of the roads should be done for safety and convenience of all road users. This must include pedestrian pavements, cycle tracks, parking bays, signage, road markings, etc," the PCC members insisted.
They pointed out that there is an imperative need to install traffic signals at all traffic junctions.
"Raised Pedestrian Zebra crossings for access to bus stops, and rumbler strips/speed breakers to slow down traffic approaching zebra crossings. There should be adequate high mast illumination at all traffic junctions," Malhotra said.
Malhotra demanded enhanced street lights, which would replace the old ones, review of signage designs and plan re-location of hawkers, vendors and other encroachment on roads and pavements, which obstruct the smooth flow of vehicular traffic and pedestrians.
The PCC further wants PMC to focus on recruitment and training of traffic wardens for manning pedestrian crossings leading to bus stops. Training of PMPML drivers and sensitising them to safety and comfort requirements of those travelling on BRTS in order to build confidence and increase commuter footfalls.
"The PCC BRTS panel is also of the firm view that much before the infrastructural construction work by project team is complete, a BRTS cell should be set up within PMPML, which is a special purpose vehicle (SPV). This cell can then take over immediate ownership of all aspects of operations, management and functioning of this hybrid transport body," PCC member and civic activist Qaneez Sukhrani said.
She added, "PMC must accede to PMPML's demand to allot two bus terminals, at Wagholi and Vishrantwadi, immediately. Also to have an ITS installed and in working order in advance for this kind of enhanced transport system was a rider in order to avoid another BRT failure."
According to CEO of PCC Manu Tandon, unless the construction is complete from edge to edge, all safety measures are taken care of, all encroachments are handled and the BRTS cell is in place, the corridor shall not be made open to the citizens.
"We want the PMC to tread cautiously and not act in a haste. Otherwise this BRTS corridor would meet a similar fate like Solapur Road and Satara Road corridors," Head of PCC BRTS Panel, Ajay Agarwal stated.
What PCC wants
Illumination on pedestrian crossing above 250 watts
Pedestrian crossing to the bus shelters at raised level
Rumblers will be 20 m before pedestrian crossing
Enough distance between two centre bollards for wheel-chair access
Ramp up/down access to bus shelters should be sloped for wheel-chair
High-mast lighting at the median at all traffic junctions
Have enhanced street lights
Special traffic signalling system
Formation of a special cell to manage entire BRTS project
PMC acting in haste, says PCC
The Pune Municipal Corporation seems to be in a hurry to roll out the Bus Rapid Transit System without considering the safety of commuters.’’
—Ashwini Malhotra, Vice-chairman, CII Maharashtra State Council
"We want the PMC to tread cautiously and not act in haste. Otherwise, this BRTS corridor would meet a similar fate like Solapur Road and Satara Road corridors."
—Ajay Agarwal, Head, PCC BRTS Panel
"Unless the construction is complete from edge to edge, all safety measures are taken care of, all encroachments are handled and the BRTS cell is in place, the corridor shall not be made open to citizens."
—Manu Tandon, CEO, PCC
"Much before the construction work by the project team is complete, a BRTS cell should be set up within PMPML. This cell can then take over ownership of all aspects of operations, management and functioning of this hybrid transport body."
—Qaneez Sukhrani, PCC member