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Aundh smart road to open on July 7 with carriageway, pavements, bicycle tracks

The road between Bremen chowk and Parihar chowk had been closed to traffic for the past three months and the work has been ongoing day and night.

pune Updated: Jul 07, 2017 12:49 IST
Prachi Bari
Prachi Bari
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Aundh,Smart City
Work in progress on Tuesday in Aundh to repair roads under the smart city project to include pavements, tactiles for visually impaired and tree grates to protect trees on sidewalks.(Pratham Gokhale/HT PHOTO)

Parihar chowk road in Aundh, which is being developed under the smart city proposal, will soon be opened to the public. “This road boasts of equitable distribution of road space with 6 metres of carriageway, walkability, universal accessibility and being bicycle friendly. We have created adequate pedestrian space, tactile for visually impaired and we have managed to save every tree by building tree graters. We even created sitting spaces (katta) keeping with the Puneri ethos,” said Prassana Desai, architect and urban planner, who is also part of the smart city pilot project.

The first pilot road project under the smart city proposal will be opened on July 7, according to Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) officials. “The work is 90% complete at least on the left hand side of the road from Bremen chowk to Parihar chowk,” said RS Shelkande, executive engineer.

The road between Bremen chowk and Parihar chowk had been closed to traffic for the past three months and the work has been ongoing day and night. Initially, officials had stated that they would open the carriageway by June 25 but later it was decided by higher authorities to complete the entire project and then open it to the public.

According to Shramik Shevte, engineer in charge, smart city project, feels that this road is indeed the first of its kind where there is 100% participation of residents in the area. Land acquisition is the biggest problem that one faces in road development but the residents and shopkeepers both willingly gave us parts of their land, three metres on each side, thus the width is 36 metres long.” This project costs ₹22 crores for 1.5 kms by 24 metres and this will be the first road with free WiFi.”

While the PMC is confident that their new roads will bear the onslaught of the monsoons, the residents have mixed feelings about the ongoing concretisation of the road. Debris lying on the sides of the roads, pipelines strewn across the middle of the roads is proof that residents of Niyoshi Park and Sanghavi Nagar are facing a lot of problems.Though the concretisation of the road is on in full swing with the entire 500 metres of both sides of road closed to traffic, PMC engineer in charge, smart city project, Shramik Shevate says, “It is in accordance with the permission of the society members and residents in Aundh that we have closed traffic. The residents of Niyoshi Park and Sanghavi Nagar have consented to bear with the inconvenience caused by closed traffic.” But in reality some residents feel that closing both the sides of the road was not necessary.

“The work on the Sanghavi Nagar road is going on since three months and this has created a lot of problems like disrupted water supply for societies. Due to the concretisation, electrical supply is also disrupted for eight to ten hours. All footpaths have been demolished to make new ones but this leaves no way for people to enter the society or shop premises. Although the PMC is promising us that there would be no waterlogging, when we inquired about the drainage system, it is not yet tested or verified, and we worry that with monsoon around the corner, we might face waterlogging in the area,” said Dr Prashant Choudhary, resident of Sanghavi Nagar.

The entire road stretch has many clinics. Patients with trauma, breathlessness, fever, full term pregnancy have to struggle to reach their doctors. PMC did not feel the need to inform all the residents of their plan to work on both sides of the roads and now we are living with no choice but to breath in the polluted air, he added.

According to Girish Deshpande, member of Aundh vikas mandal, “It is not a smart plan for the PMC to enforce closure of both sides of the DP road simultaneously, putting residents, commuters and shopkeepers at great inconvenience. This is one of the two major arterial roads connecting PCMC to Aundh-Baner. They could have completed one side of this road, thrown it open to public before getting on with the other side. The parallel police workshop road is half the width of the DP Road and it is simply buckling under pressure to carry the two-way traffic load. Built up traffic from Rishi chowk reaches almost up to Parihar chowk.”

Some of the other residents like Rohini Nagvankar feels that though she is not a resident of Niyoshi Park, she is a regular commuter, and hence very concerned about the development. With monsoons at our doorstep, our first concern will be the amount of slush that the debris will cause on the roads. Besides that the present diversion from the police line is very time consuming and chaotic. Besides the road is too narrow to tackle such heavy traffic two ways. The most important thing is that the schools will be reopening and it will create a pandemonium, she adds.

First Published: Jun 29, 2017 15:36 IST