Your space: Need to strengthen other means of transport
I fail to understand how Metro is going to minimise the traffic and public transport problem in Pune ? While other means of Public transport is completely defunct in the city. Public transport like PMPML is failing as most routes are not covered by them. Most areas are not under PMPML coverage. The frequency of buses plying routes is pathetic. The common man has no option other than purchasing their own vehicle. Pune was dug up for BRTS that has proven to be a disappointment. Again the city is being dug up for the metro rail.Citizen are in doubt whether this will solve the traffic problem or create more traffic jams. Smart city road plan is big failure in Aundh as the existing roads were narrowed leaving hardly any place for the traffic to move. No one bothered about following at least basic common sense not to drive on footpaths. Another big surprise! No action is taken against bikers who are driving with earphones. Hopefully respective authorities will address traffic problems at the initial stage of Metro Rail planning to avoid further problems.
Dr Sunita choudhary
Bus Service must improve
It is a good thing that the metro work is moving ahead at a good pace, and is likely to be operational next year. At the same time we must not forget that a major part of public transport is shared by Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd (PMPML). The metro when operational will ferry one to two lakh people per day where on the other hand PMPML ferries over 8 to 10 lakh people per day. The load on PMPML is very high as Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and state government need to improve bus service as once metro is operational it will act as a feeder service. PMC and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) both spent lot of money on Bus rapid transit (BRTS), the authorities need to ensure that BRTS would be in place and operational.
City should have reliable road and rail transport
Prime Minister announced that Metro’s 12 Km route would be operational by next year. It is good that the state and central both government are looking in Metro’s progress. Along with that there is need to strengthen other modes of public transport in the city like Mumbai has. Pune also should have a reliable local train as well as bus service, but sadly that is not the case. If both the state and central government look in improving the condition of bus and local train service, the traffic condition in the city will improve . It is good that the government is planning ring road in the city. We have been hearing the promise of a ring road for quite a while now, glad to see it become a reality.
PMPML service should be priority
Number one priority should always be given to the city bus service including BRTS then pedestrian and cycle infrastructure, High Capacity Mass Transit Route (HCMTR) and ring road. Sadly this has not been the case. Roads need to be designed as per the Urban street design guidelines. Scientifically unjustified road widening, flyovers, vehicle underpasses, pedestrian subways, foot over bridges should be avoided. Policies such as pedestrian policy, cycle policy, parking policy, hawker policy, encroachment policy needs to be effectively implemented both in letter and spirit. In short private vehicles should be given last priority in traffic and transportation planning. All of this should have been implemented before metro came to town as it alone is not a solution to the traffic problem the city is facing.
Speed up work
Speedy work of all infrastructure projects is the need of the hour. However,taking lessons from the past it appears to be a distant dream. PM Narendra Modi during his recent visit to the city, announced the Metro rail will be operational on 12Km route by the end of 2019. However, as far as the other projects are concerned, things are yet to speed up. Projects undertaken by the state government and PMC should have ensured equal speedy implementation of other mass transport and infra projects including BRTS and ring road. However, the government is yet to succeed in acquiring land, a first step in any project. Metro has set an example of speedy work which other government agencies must follow.
Delay in implementation of projects
Be it Metro, BRTS or ring road we are already late in implementing these projects. The political leadership lacked the vision or else these projects would have been completed by now considering the exponential rise in traffic. However, the truth is that we are just on the verge of commencement of these projects. By the time, they become operational; traffic will have increased, questioning the very basic idea of soothing the traffic management in the city. However, now that the work has begun, speedy process is the must to cope up with the increasing traffic in the city. Metro work is a classic example of work being done in a speedy way. All the other government agencies must walk on the footsteps of metro as far as speedy work is concerned.
PMC and PCMC should work in tandem with PMRDA
Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) already prepared the Certificate Management Protocol (CMP) and they have identified the important projects. PMC and PCMC should work in tandem with PMRDA to complete the work. PMRDA can help them get required sanctions and speedy execution and they should take serious efforts in forming a planning group. Both corporations should have dedicated transport department with urban planner experts who can jointly work with all government authorities. The current 60-40 formula for PMPML is not working, we should accept our limitations and we need to bring better control authority or simply handover to metro. Nagpur corporation recently adopted this practice, and as per metro policy, concerned authority have to provide feeder service at 5km radius of every metro station. So it makes sense that metro can manage the buses better.
Mass transit connectivity needed
Metro will definitely serve the purpose, but it will not reach you to the final destination you intend to go to. For this purpose Pune requires mass transit connectivity of metro to better buses, e-rickshaws, cycle stands which it lacks.PMC, PCMC and PMPML should sit with Metro authorities and start designing the new routes and sanction buses required. Similarly, PMC and PCMC should encourage more cycle routes and vendors who will be available right from metro stations. Things are changing but the speed of work is slow. The future is bright, that’s if we speed up the work.
Improve existing transport
I think the local government and PMC should concentrate on improving the existing public transportation facilities and infrastructure, which as all the residents of the city know, is not in a best shape. At the pace the metro work in the city is going, I am sceptical about how effective it will be in meeting the requirements of the city.
Metro does not cover entire city
Governing bodies should immediately apply resources and take action in improving other means of transport. Especially the new electric buses they promised. The metro line alone does not cover the entire length and breath of the city. India as a country has focused on providing the poor and under-privileged by only looking at them as a vote bank. The metro is a classy and status-uplifting project for the content people who cannot manage car pooling, if I’m being honest. Since Pune it is spread in a circle (unlike Mumbai which is quite vertical) needs to work on providing BRTS with no or less signals and the ring road.
Autorickshaws must run on meter
Well whether Pune or Mumbai any transport project has taken 8 to 10 years to complete is a recent history. Pune’s BRTS had started 5-6 years back and still it is not complete, it is there in bits n pieces. So even though it is promised that 13 km stretch of Metro will be operational by the end of 2019, the whole project may take it’s own time. It is a irony that mega projects are announced lavishly but the work progresses at snails place and citizens are inconvenienced due to the ongoing work. As it is PMPML is not giving great service , people of Pune are waiting for a good option of transport but it seems it will take much more time. Actually what Puneits need is good auto-rickshaw service which will run on meter and cater to even outskirts of the city.
Maya Hemant Bhatkar