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Pune is no city for pedestrians

Crisis hotspots are across the city in terms of accident-prone roads. A major disaster is more than likely and regular fatalities have not yet rung the bell for those in charge to act now

pune Updated: Oct 02, 2017 16:43 IST
Jui Dharwadkar
Pedestrians cross the accident-prone spot located at Baner road in Pune.
Pedestrians cross the accident-prone spot located at Baner road in Pune. (Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO)

Safety of pedestrians and drivers on the streets of Pune continues to be compromised with little done by the administration to improve the public transport system and make roads more pedestrian friendly.

 The growth of private vehicles on the roads of Pune has been steadily increasing over the years. The increasing speed of vehicles, rash and unsafe driving, among other things, have resulted in a high number of road accidents in the city. 

In the first six months of the current year, the Pune police commissionerate recorded 594 accidents (fatal, grievous and minor) as compared with 1,298 accidents in the entire year of 2016.

 In April this year, a three-year-old was killed and four others critically injured when they were hit by a car that spun out of control and drifted towards the road divider on which these people were standing, waiting to cross the road. 

The accident was captured on a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera and highlighted the unsafe conditions for pedestrians on the city roads. 

On Sunday, team Hindustan Times revisited the spot opposite Vasudha complex at Baner. After the accident, a wall, up to two feet in height, has been constructed at the divider which now stretches for a few kilometres towards Balewadi phata from the accident spot . 

Yet, residents of the area are not satisfied as most stated that on the road stretch before the accident spot there is no wall on the divider and  crossing the road during peak hours is very risky for pedestrians. 

Rajendra Dixit, resident of the area, says, "Traffic flow on this road is very heavy and crossing or walking is a challenge for pedestrians. Also there are many bylanes from which vehicles come on to the roads. With cars and two-wheelers driving at a very high speed it becomes risky even for vehicle drivers." 

Another pedestrian, Neelam Jain, too shared similar views. "Earlier, for my office I used to daily commute on the Baner road. It has major problems of traffic congestion due to which driving, walking and even crossing the road becomes difficult. Efforts must be taken to reduce vehicles on the roads," she added. 

The situation of rising traffic congestion and unsafe roads is similar for many other roads in Pune. 

Recently, Union minister for transport Nitin Gadkari, had laid the foundation stone for a flyover to be constructed at Chandani chowk. This flyover aims to solve the traffic congestion problems at Chandani chowk. However, work on the flyover is pending as the process of land acquisition has not been completed. 

 Speaking about this flyover, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) project director Suhas Chitnis had earlier said,‘‘For constructing this flyover we need 15 more hectares of land. We cannot start the tendering process till  the land acquisition is complete." 

 He added that NHAI is hopeful that Pune Municipal Corporation(PMC) will complete the process of acquiring the land soon.

Accident-prone in the city

The Pune police traffic department has come up with this list of 24 accident-prone spots in the city and Pimpri-Chinchwad

1) Pune-Alandi road, magazine chowk

2) Toll road

3) Khadi machine chowk

4) Bhumkar chowk

5) Road near Indira College

6) Radha hotel, Balewadi

7) CME gate, Dapodi

8) Moshi toll naka

9) Nashik phata chowk

10) Moshi Jakat naka

11) Chandani Chowk

12) Dukkar khind

13) Navle bridge

14) Vadgaon bridge

15) Opposite Vadgaon bus stop

16) Road near hotel Maratheshahi

17) Grape research centre

18) South gate, Magarpatta, Hadapsar

19) Magarpatta main gate

20) Magarpatta road

21) Pune-Satara road, old Katraj tunnel

22) Pune-Satara road, new Katraj tunnel

23) Katraj tunnel first bypass

24) Andi Ubavani Kendra