'Swargate flyover work will hamper commuters'

With the construction of Swargate flyover and grade separator work about to commence at Jedhe chowk -- one of the busiest junction in the city --

It seems PMPML and ST bus commuters as well as private vehicle owners will be the worst hit if the flyover construction -- slated to begin in August -- starts without the authorities making the alternative route plan public.

Trouble in store: Buses plying on more than 70 routes across the city pass through Swargate bus stand

According to the schedule published by PMPML, buses on more than 70 routes across the city run from Swargate bus stand. Prashant Inamdar, convener of city-based NGO Pedestrian First, said, “The bus movement in Swargate area will be hampered once the construction work starts. PMPML bus stops need to be shifted, which will affect the commuters in a big way. It will also have an impact on PMPML revenues, as the fuel consumption due to rerouting will increase.”

The foundation stone  laid by the deputy chief minister at Jedhe chowk yesterday. Pic/Sachin Thakare

“The PMC has kept PMPML and traffic police in the dark. They have not even taken the commuters into consideration. The PMC should have invited public opinion on their traffic diversion and bus rerouting plans. They should have put up hoardings at the junction to spread awareness among citizens one month prior to the project, Inamdar said.

“Making the diversion plan public well in advance will help students and professionals to replan their schedule. Are civic officials going to declare their diversion plans at the last moment,” asked Inamdar.

R S Kamire, police inspector (traffic planning), said, “We have asked the contractor for the work to give details on which road they are going to start work and how they are going to proceed further. They said the planning is expected to be finalised in a week.”

PMPML officials, meanwhile, said they have yet not finalised the rerouting of buses and shifting of bus stops on various routes. Swargate ST depot manager Vijay Diwate said, “The shifting and rerouting of ST buses is still in the discussion stage. MSRDC and ST officials from the divisional office will finalise it. Due to the flyover construction work, we will need to terminate or reduce number of buses plying on some routes.”¬†

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