In a bid to decongest roads in the city, the traffic branch of the police held a meeting with officials of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and proposed the decentralisation of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) bus facility in the city.
The idea is to have termini on the fringes so that ST buses do not enter the interiors of the city. In the meeting, the traffic branch suggested to the PMC that three MSRTC bus termini should be made, in Katraj, Hadapsar and on the Pune-Ahmednagar road. As a result of the buses stopping at the fringe termini, traffic congestion due to heavy vehicles will reduce on city roads.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Vishwas Pandhare, Mayor Vaishali Bankar, the Additional City Engineer (Traffic and BRTS) and officials of the MSRTC attended the meeting and decided to chalk out an action plan to better the traffic conditions in the city.
Talking about the discussions, Pandhare said strategic placing of termini was proposed to cut down on the number of buses on city roads. “In the meeting, we suggested area-wise MSRTC bus termini and proposed that three bus termini can be set up in Katraj, Hadapsar and on the Pune-Ahmednagar road so that traffic snarls in the city can be reduced,” Pandhare said.
He said that the buses from Sangli, Satara and Kolhapur could end their journey at the Katraj bus terminus and start on the return journey from there itself.
“By doing so, we will be able to reduce traffic congestion at the Swargate bus stand and, consequently, the traffic situation on the Pune-Satara Road will improve,” Pandhare said.
He also cautioned that before setting up bus termini at these proposed spots, it was necessary to improve the internal public transport system as passengers would need to use it to reach the desired fringe ST bus terminus.
“The meeting was fruitful as the Mayor promised the PMC would urge the state government to pursue the matter seriously,” Pandhare said. “We also suggested that a dedicated committee be set up to follow up on the issue periodically.”
On the question of improving traffic infrastructure in the city, Pandhare said the time had come for the state government to provide funds specifically for the purpose. “If we expect people to follow all the traffic rules, it is also our responsibility to provide proper traffic infrastructure like signboards suggesting traffic rules, properly painted zebra crossings, signals, indicators and other things,” he said.
“We urged the Mayor to put up before the state government the issue of allotting some funds to better the traffic infrastructure in the city. The PMC officials as well as the Mayor agreed to take up the issue at the higher level.”
‘Use fines for infra’
Pandhare said that every year the traffic branch collects crores of rupees by way of fines, and all the money goes to the government. He urged the government to give at least 50 per cent of the fine collection to the traffic branch so that it could be used to improve traffic infrastructure in the city.
Pandhare also told the PMC that certain areas, like Shivaji Road, Deccan, the railway station and ST stands, should be made no-hawker zones and a zero-tolerance policy should be adopted by the PMC as well as the traffic branch.
Caps for traffic cops out in sun
A Pune-based travel agency, Roshan Transports, has given 1,000 caps for traffic constables, who have the responsibility of handling the traffic in the scorching summer sun.