Even the officials from the traffic police department have requested authorities concerned to ensure commuters’ safety before the construction work begins.
Pedestrians First, an NGO working for pedestrians, raised objections on the design of the project scheduled to commence from August. The PMC has awarded the project contract worth Rs 158 crore to the MSRDC.
Prashant Inamdar, convener of Pedestrians First, said, “It seems that no scientific studies and cost-benefit analysis were done while designing the flyovers and grade separator. Neither the drawings of this flawed project were made public nor public consultations were done. Even the traffic police were kept in the dark before awarding the contract. So we are requesting the authorities to temporarily hold back this project and answer our queries.”
He added that Jedhe Junction was one of the busiest junctions in the city, with a high pedestrian count. “Along with BRT, a transport hub and metro station is also proposed that will result in high density of pedestrians in the future. While the existing road width is 45 meters, only 1.5-meter-wide footpaths are available. In future, with the grade separator and flyovers from Satara Road dropping down on Shankarsheth Road, the width of the available road will be even lesser and no footpaths will be left for pedestrians,” Inamdar said.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Vishwas Pandhare said, “We have requested the MSRDC and the PMC officials to find a way out. Metro station is also going to be constructed at Swargate, which will increase the number of pedestrians in the area. We have proposed pedestrian subways below the junction, connecting all the five roads — Satara Road, Tilak Road, Shivaji Road, Shankarsheth and Sarasbaug Road. This will facilitate uninterrupted pedestrian movement.”
The other side
Member of Legislature Council Mohan Joshi, who has aggressively pushed for the project, claimed that sufficient facility was provided for pedestrians on the Shankarsheth Road. When asked about the objections raised by the NGO, Joshi said, “We have taken care of pedestrians while designing the project. More information in this regard is available in the project design.”