Activists oppose PMC’s decision to dismantle BRTS on Ahmednagar Road - Hindustan Times
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Activists oppose PMC’s decision to dismantle BRTS on Ahmednagar Road

Jun 27, 2023 10:12 PM IST

As per the activists the PMC is favouring users of personal vehicles and projects beneficial to them

Two days after the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) started dismantling the bus rapid transit system (BRTS) stretch on the Pune-Ahmednagar Road, between Yerawada to Vimannagar Chowk (Phoenix Mall), civic activists who are working to strengthen the public transport system have opposed the civic body’s decision.

PMCdismantled the bus rapid transit system (BRTS) stretch on the Pune-Ahmednagar Road (HT PHOTO)
PMCdismantled the bus rapid transit system (BRTS) stretch on the Pune-Ahmednagar Road (HT PHOTO)

According to activists this decision has exposed the civic body’s true face. Harshad Abhyankar of Save Pune Traffic Movement (SPTM), Ranjit Gadgil of Parisar, Sanskriti Menon of Centre for Environment Education and Pranjali Deshpande, Public Transport expert criticised the PMC.

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“The Pune municipal commissioner has exposed his true approach towards urban transport by deciding to remove the Ahmednagar Road BRT corridor. PMPML buses do not get stuck in a traffic jam due to the BRT lane, saving the time for several commuters. Thus, the BRT is a boon for commuters even in its present condition. However, instead of acting in the interest of PMPML commuters, the commissioner favoured interests of the users of personal motor vehicles,” said Abhyankar.

As per the activists the PMC is favouring users of personal vehicles and projects beneficial to them. “From parking structures to road widening, PMC is undertaking these projects only because they are part of the Development Plan (DP). However, they are demolishing important projects that benefit public transportation, from the same DP. What is the basis for such selective treatment? Would PMC publish what study was conducted to justify removing the BRTS on Ahmednagar Road?”asked Gadgil.

According to activists, it is a universally accepted fact that congestion is caused due to the increasing use of personal motor vehicles.

“What steps has the PMC taken to reduce use of personal vehicles? How would removing the BRTS reduce congestion? On one hand the construction of a BRTS corridor along the old Mumbai-Pune Road is announced and on the other hand, the PMC is dismantling a corridor that is beneficial to PMPML. This clearly explains the civic body’s confused state and haphazard policy towards public transport,” said Deshpande.

Nikhil Mijar, traffic planner, PMC, said, “As the work on Pune metro began on Ahmednagar Road, the PMPML stopped plying buses from the dedicated corridor of BRTS since past three years causing authorities to rethink. The BRTS and metro are competing with each other and they should not run parallel. The PMC has carried out all types of experiments regarding the BRTS but they have not been successful.”

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