Taking a leaf out of the Ahmedabad civic authorities book, the Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) road department is planning to appoint a consultancy agency specialising in road design to ease the traffic woes in the city.
With a view to implement the same innovative methods here, which have been employed by the authorities in Ahmedabad and Surat while constructing roads there, the PMC aims to build roads that are safe, pleasant, disabled friendly and consistent. The civic body has shortlisted four agencies that have recently carried out similar work in Ahmedabad and Surat.
“Currently, civic engineers oversee infrastructure development. They specialise in construction, but not in design. Hence, for every building construction an architect is needed. The agency will work like an architect of roads, which will help to ensure free flow of traffic in the city,” said Yuvaraj Deshmukh, superintendent engineer, PMC.
The proposal will be presented before the Standing Committee for approval. After their consent, one of the four agencies will be finalised. The consultancy costs are estimated at Rs 8 to 10 lakh per kilometre.
“The selected agency will first conduct an intensive survey, identifying the congested spots in the city and suggest structural solution. The survey will also include the vehicle and pedestrian count, and accordingly the road design will be implemented. The agency will also set specific guidelines for certain road stretches, which will be considered during the resurfacing or any infrastructural work of that area,” Deshmukh added.
It is understood that after securing the approval, a pilot project will be conducted at specific junctions, making the city first in the state to implement road specific design.
“We feel it is essential that our streets should be designed and not just engineered. The design of the street involves every single element that we find on the roads, which include footpaths, signboards, trees, traffic signals, hawkers, entry-exit into properties, bus stops, pedestrian crossings, hoardings and parkingareas.
Currently, without design, many bad practices exist, which aredone without any proper study. Due to lack of design, the city has been facing the problem of heavy traffic congestion. However, it is also vital that that civic engineers implement the designsuggested by the consultant,” said Ranjit Gadgil, civic activist.