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Saturday, Aug 17, 2019

Pedestrians face high risk at the Bhumkar chowk, Pune

Nearly 99% of accidents occur here as people do not follow rules when crossing roads.

pune Updated: Jul 24, 2017 14:12 IST
Shrinivas Deshpande
Shrinivas Deshpande
Hindustan Times, Pune
Bhoomkar chowk near Wakkad in Pune serves as an entry point to the IT park road.
Bhoomkar chowk near Wakkad in Pune serves as an entry point to the IT park road.(HT PHOTO)

On Sunday, Hindustan Times visited Mumbai-Pune expressway near Hinjewadi IT park where Bhumkar chowk and Shani Mandir near Indira college have been identified as accident-prone spots. Both the spots are just 500-meter away from each other.

Dattatraya Patil, traffic API of Wakad said, “Nearly 99% accidents occur because of wrong highway crossing by pedestrians. Most of the accidents take place between 10 pm and 6 am. The Mumbai-Pune expressway passes through an area near Wakad where human activity is more. Hence, more care should be taken while crossing the highway in this area.” Pedestrian should use the subway to cross roads, he stressed.

Problems faced at Bhumkar Chowk
Increasing number of accidents involving pedestrians at the Indira college accident-prone spot on the expressway has raised serious concerns.
Traffic violations at Bhumkar chowk are making it unsafe for pedestrian and other vehicles.
Experts have suggested the use of PMC’s pedestrians policy to avoid accidents.
Police department appealed to the public to follow traffic rules
Proper planning to address the issue of traffic congestion at Bhumkar chowk is the need of the hour.

At Shani Mandir, near Indira college on the Mumbai-Pune expressway, HT team witnessed vehicles passing through the accident-prone spot at high speed thus, making the road unsafe for smaller vehicles, pedestrians. Although there is a subway to ensure that pedestrians cross roads safely, it lacks maintenance making it difficult for public to use. Pedestrians generally do not use the subway because it is filled with water, said a student. With no other option, pedestrians usually cross roads on the expressway putting their lives at risk. 

Two prominent management colleges are also present near the two accident-prone spots on both sides of expressway. Students are always in a hurry to cross the road. Last year, a college student was killed in an accident on one of these spots. 

Sujay Shah, a student trying to cross the road, said, “Vehicles pass at breakneck speed on the spot and it becomes very risky not just for pedestrians but also other vehicles trying to take the highway from this point.”

The situation at Bhumkar chowk was no different. With vehicles coming from all sides and moving towards either Dange chowk, IT park or the Mumbai-Pune expressway, the situation seemed chaotic especially with vehicles driving at high speeds.

Minal Mahajan, resident of Dange Chowk said, “The traffic situation at Bhumkar chowk gets worse during peak hours when the number of vehicles is more. This chowk is an entry point to the IT park road. There are all sorts of vehicles including company buses, cars, two wheelers among others making it very difficult to drive. Traffic police is present at this chowk during peak hours which helps a lot.” But the number of commuters driving on the wrong side creates problems leading to accidents, she added. 

Speaking about problems, API Patil said, “Areas near the expressway have been developed recently. Also, Bhumkar chowk serves as the road for the IT crowd moving towards Hinjewadi. Hence, Bhumkar chowk, currently witnesses very heavy traffic flow. While at Shani Mandir, the rush created by college students may lead to accidents. Hence, we are planning to fix signboards to inform about the use of subway.”  

Programme director of city-based NGO ‘Parisar’, Ranjeet Gadgil said, “Highway police should apply pedestrian policy accepted by Pune Municipal Corporation under which guidelines were given regarding subway. Building a subway is not enough, you have to maintain it properly with CCTV and electricity. Steps should be taken to maintain it, avoid water leakage, ensure there is a security guard, only then pedestrians will use it. 

Gadgil suggested that on junctions, on the highways, there should be rumble strips to avoid over speeding, red blinking lights and high-beam lights to avoid accident. 

Traffic rule violations remain a major reason for accidents. Police department appealed to the public to follow traffic rules which would help prevent accidents on these spots. 

First Published: Jul 24, 2017 14:09 IST

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