Pune Municipal Corporation’s myriad promises of disentangling the traffic nuisance at Keshavrao Jedhe chowk in Swargate have so far come to naught. But representatives of state transport (ST) department argue that the knotty problem can be sorted out if the canal road construction behind the workshop at Swargate ST stand is realised.
“About 1,800 buses in peak season and 1,650 normally, going to and from the ST stand, pass through the junction every day. If the canal road is constructed, not a single bus will have to negotiate the chowk,” claimed Vijay Diwate, Swargate Depo Manager of ST. The canal road will facilitate drivers in taking their buses from ST stand directly to Krishnarao Dhole chowk near Hotel 7 Loves on Shankar Sheth road.
“The canal road will be most convenient for us, as we can route our vehicles through other roads without entering the busy stretches,” said Diwate. “The irrigation department will send a proposal regarding this road. A parapet wall has to be built alongside the canal. Also, a large number of trees exist in that area. So, court’s permission will be required for felling them,” he added.
Prashant Inamdar, convener of the NGO Pedestrians First, said, “PMC is about to start construction work of Swargate flyover. But, on the other hand, canal road project is hanging fire.” The flyover and grade separator work is slated to begin in the next few days. Commuter groups have raised concerns about the possible traffic disruption in the entire Swargate area once construction actually begins.
Traffic police has sought details from MSRDC – the contractor for the project – about the exact locations where the work will be carried out. Traffic cops and ST officials conducted separate meetings with MSRDC representatives recently. However, no alternative arrangements and rerouting plans for PMPML and ST buses have been made known yet.