In the backdrop of mounting number of fatal accidents on Pune-Satara Road Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes, corporators from all parties have demanded that the PMC administration fix responsibility over the matter.
Some even demanded termination of the BRT project and that Rs 670 crore received from the central government under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) to introduce the project on three new routes be returned.
In a point of information, councillor Sanjay Balgude raised the issue of various faults on BRT routes, and asked that the culprits behind these increasing number of accidents be identified.
“In the last five years, Rs 127 crore has been spent on the Satara Road BRT route. But, in the same period 70 major accidents happened on this corridor,” Balgude said.
Councillor Avinash Bagwe pointed out myriad problems, like why PMC-appointed traffic wardens can never stand on BRT routes to discipline traffic.
Corporator Kishor Shinde objected to the way grade separators and underground pathways have been constructed by the civic body, and alleged that these uneven subways are responsible for the escalating fatal accidents.
“If you are demanding that BRT be shut down, then be prepared to return the Rs 670 crore received from the central government. We should know that Pune is the first city in the country where centre had introduced BRT, and no other metropolis received such huge financial support for new routes,” said PMC commissioner Mahesh Pathak.
“Accidents are happening on BRT routes because of indiscipline of two-wheelers. When any rider breaks rules to enters the dedicated bus lane and tries to overtake a vehicle, there is a risk of accident,” he added.
However, corporators were not satisfied with Pathak’s explanation and, after a heated argument, the commissioner left the dais, and stepped out of the auditorium.
Rs 670 crore
Amount provided by centre to introduce BRT on three new routes in the city