PMC’s ‘non-starter’ speed breaker policy panel hits a bump after member quits
Civic activist cites civic administration’s lack of discipline, accountability, work culture and ethicsUpdated: Jun 07, 2019 16:37 IST
Pune: Unplanned and uneven speed breakers across many city roads expose Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) seriousness towards road safety rules.
The civic body’s committee, constituted in May 11, 2016, to form a policy on guidelines for speed breakers on roads, has hardly had any meetings till date. The fact surfaced when one of the committee members tendered her resignation stating dithering and delays over discussing and finalising a policy.
“Being on a committee that does not achieve its work and compromises on human safety, even after three years of its formation, do not agree with my moral values and conscience. It is quite evident that the panel with citizens inducted is not allowed to get desired results, which ultimately leads to a resignation after being frustrated with PMC’s lack of discipline, accountability, work culture and ethics,” said Qaneez Sukhrani, who tendered her resignation from the panel recently.
According to Sukhrani, member of non-governmental organisation (NGO) Nagrik Chetna Manch (NCM), the civic committee was intended to frame a guideline policy whereby specifications and standard operating procedures would be finalised thereby overriding the various types and designs of speed breaker with technical flaws that were still freely allowed to be constructed by contractors using cheapest material and without standards being in place.
The panel consists of Rajendra Nimbalkar, Pune additional municipal commissioner; Anirudh Pawaskar, road department head; on invitation were Central Institute of Road Transport’s (CIRT) Prashant Kakade; Prof VA Kelkar; Prashant Inamdar, convenor, Pedestrian First; Pranjali Deshpande from Institute for transport and development policy (ITDP) and Sukhrani.
“The speed breaker committee first meet on April 19, 2017, despite being formed in 2016 with the then municipal commissioner Kunal Kumar getting involved and eagerly looking at solving the issue of speed breakers which were cause of many accidents. The second meeting was held on September 16, 2017, where a working cell was constituted for drafting a speed breaker policy, followed by a third meeting on June 27, 2018, fourth on October 4, 2018 and the fifth meeting on February 7, 2019,” said Inamdar.
“There is no clarity in setting up the policy as decisions could be taken only after having regular meetings,” he said, adding that other similar committees on Pune state plan and integrated road development are also almost defunct sans regular meetings.
Kakade, who feels that resigning from a committee is not the way forward, but pushing to get the policy done and implementing it, said, “It is indeed true that we have not had meetings and it is taking time for the PMC to plan these meetings, but it seems the civic administration does not look at speed breakers as priority and are neither sharing any information or updating us nor holding regular meetings. I am interested in getting the work done and not in questioning whose responsibility it is for calling meetings.”
“The committee can play an important role in finalising the methodology and standardising design for speed breaker. It is important to improve road safety. Once we complete speed breaker planning and design guidelines, it should be expanded to traffic calming guidelines. Hence, if speed breaker committee meetings are delayed, it will result in overall delay in starting traffic calming guidelines too,” said Deshpande.
The panel meetings
First meeting: April 19, 2017
Second meeting: September 16, 2017
Third meeting: June 27, 2018
Fourth meeting: October 4, 2018
Fifth meeting: February 7, 2019
Speed breaker standards
International guidelines and Indian Road Congress guidelines are in place to determine the gradient of speed-breakers and their placement, but they are often not followed by authorities.
As per guidelines for traffic calming measures in urban and rural areas (first revision), Indian Roads Congress, 2018
For arterial and sub-arterial roads in urban areas
Restrict vehicular speeds to 50 kmph for cars and 40 km for heavy vehicles
For collector roads (low-to-moderate-capacity road) provide speed breaker 50 m ahead of intersection with arterial and sub-arterial roads
Provide warning signs for ‘speed breakers ahead’
For local roads, provide speed breakers after every 200 m interval