PMC constructs 750-km foothpaths in city, hawkers take over

Published on Jun 28, 2021 09:19 PM IST

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has completed the construction of a total 750 kilometre footpaths across the city with only 50 per cent staff since 2020 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic

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ByPrachi Bari, Pune

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has completed the construction of a total 750 kilometre footpaths across the city with only 50 per cent staff since 2020 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. However, residents complain that the footpaths have been taken over by hawkers, food vendors.

According to Vijay Shinde, official from the PMC road department, “A total of 750 km footpath has been completed in the city despite facing many problems of having 50 per cent labour at work, but work is completed in areas like Fergusson college road, Jangli Maharaj road, Nagar road, Ganeshkhind road, Karve road and Bibwewadi road. We still have some ongoing work of the footpaths in areas like Pashan, Hadapsar, Mohammedwadi and under Smart city, Aundh ITI road.”

However, these are likely to be delayed with monsoon in the city and proposed DP roads will take longer as the tender of these roads is still in process.

Meanwhile, those roads which have been newly made along with a bicycle track have not been useful for residents in many areas, they have already been encroached by vendors and food stalls.

Like for example in Koregaon Park which were newly made are now being occupied by vendors.

Anil Latey, professor, chairman, Koregaon Park Mohalla Sudhar Samiti, said, “The footpaths are unduly wide all over the Dhole Patil road ward, which gives a lot of scope for all kinds of vendors (legal/ illegal) to occupy them. Those preparing and selling food illegally, soil the footpaths very badly, that paver blocks on most of the footpaths are disorganised in innumerable places. The height of footpaths from road level ranges from “0-30” cm. Advantage of low footpaths is taken by many motorists to park their vehicles on the footpaths.”

While in Bavdhan, the footpath has now been renamed by the residents as “Hawker’s path”.

Deepa Prabhu, a resident of Bavdhan said, “Most of the smart city styled footpaths look very good but most of them have been encroached by hawkers leaving the citizens no option but to walk along the road.”

Even the smart city roads on NCL Pashan road are not left alone and encroachments of small huts and water tanks occupy the walking space of the footpaths across Pashan-Sus road

“In some parts along the footpath, even the paver blocks have been removed and can be seen used in holding the tarpaulin of the huts along the road,” said Uma Gadgil.

Hinjewadi recently finished making a whole new stretch of footpath but soon enough, there was hardly any space for people to walk.

“Footpaths are not designed well, also not keeping in mind walkers’ safety in mind. For example of Hinjewadi phase 3 newly developed footpath, here we have couple of problems, nullah/ rain drainage adjacent to footpath is not fenced. The footpath mostly occupied by hawkers near Megapolis societies and in certain patch of footpath trees are planted in middle leaving no space to walk,” said Anshul Gupta resident of Megapolis.

However, in some areas, people are still waiting for proper footpaths like those in Phursunghi.

“In Phursunghi, Bekhrainagar nagar, there is no designated foot path or space to construct one, but the main road from Gadital to Bekhrainagar that connects Saswad is well laid out (demarked space) till entrance of Tukai darshan road and cleaned up regularly,” said resident Satya Natrajan.

While many of the residents have complained that Hadapsar actually does not have footpaths at great state, the visibility is very poor and mostly footpaths are occupied by hawkers.

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