Despite strong opposition from NGOs over construction of the first grade separator at Sancheti Hospital junction in Shivajinagar, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is at the final stage of approving another grade separator subway at SG Barve junction.
Municipal officials discussed some details with the City Traffic Police yesterday and a final decision will be taken after getting the green signal from the project estimate committee by this weekend.
PMC officials claim that the proposed 310-metre long, 10 metre wide sub-underpass or subway at the SG Barve junction will ease the clash of vehicular flow from Shivaji Road and J M Road and make traffic signals at the junction obsolete. The second subway or grade separator will take 18 months to be completed.
Major General (Retd) SCN Jatar, president Nagrai Chetana Manch, said, “There is no need for any subway when J M Road has already been made a one way. It appears that the PMC takes adhock decisions and does not plan before finalising such projects, nor are these projects put on the municipal website with detailed reports for the public to debate.”
Agreeing with Jatar, Prashant Inamdar, president, Pedestrian First said that would give rise to problems at other spots in the area. “The grade separator or subway may create traffic problems at SSPMS and Kamgar Putala area. Pedestrians will also suffer as they will be left with no space to cross the road and junction. Also, it is not clear whether the project is in PMC’s comprehensive mobility plan or not,” Inamdar said.
Vivek Kharwadkar, additional city engineer, Building Permissions and JNNURM Projects, refuted the charges being made. He said, “Presently, we are testing the practicability of a left turn from Sancheti Hospital Road to Shivaji Road and the project will get approval from the estimate committee. The project was approved in the general body meeting following a lengthy debate and after considering all possible problems.”
Kharwadkar added that the project is not based on adhock decisions, but has been planned scientifically. Also, a pedestrian crossing on the SG Barve junction has been discussed and the subway has been planned as per present and future requirements of the city.
Vishwas Pandhare, DCP City Police Traffic Branch, who discussed the project with Kharwadkar, said, “We are discussing some minor technical issues in the subway project and are positively hoping to get things sorted out shortly.”
Total vehicular traffic volume per day between Sancheti Hospital road and SG Barve junction: 36,500 passenger-carrying units