The standing committee has sanctioned two subways, one at Karve Road, which already has two pedestrian facilities, and another at Paud Road, which has three subways
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has given its approval to build two subways, one on Karve Road and the other on Paud Road, despite the fact that both roads have seven pedestrian subways and foot over bridges (FOBs) in all. Strangely, both these subways will be built less than 100 metres of the previously constructed pedestrian facilities.
Waste of facilities? Karve Road already has subways and Foot Over Bridges that are not utilised to the optimum allege NGOs. Pic/Mohan Patil
Karve Road, starting from Khandoji Baba Chowk does not have the much-needed subway or FOB till SNDT College. However, from the college to Karve Nagar the corporation has built two FOBs and two subways within four kilometres.
Money down the drain? Though PMC has given approval for another subway at Anandnagar Chowk, the work of another subway, barely 100 metres away, has been going for more than a year. Pic/Mohan Patil
On Tuesday, the standing committee has given its go ahead to build another subway at Karishma Society Chowk, when it is within half a kilometre range from the two pedestrian bridges.
Similar is the case at Paud Road, where there are three subways, out of which the work on the subway near Jai Bhavani Nagar Chowk has been going on for more than a year, resulting in traffic jams during peak hours.
The corporation has now given its approval for another subway at Anandnagar Chowk, barely 100 metres away
“The proposal of these subways came from the administration. Before approval, I had asked whether these facilities are important in the area, and the administration answered in the affirmative,” said Bapu Karne, chairman of PMC’s standing committee.
When this reporter informed him that both these roads already have ample pedestrian facilities, he said, “One of the standing committee members, Prithviraj Sutar had been strongly pursuing both the subways.”
Speaking to Sutar, Shiv Sena corporator for Kothrud area, where both the new subways have been proposed, he said, “Both the areas are crowded and subways are the need of the hour. We also conducted pedestrian surveys and found that these facilities are required.”
However, social activist and convenor of the NGO, Pedestrian First, Prashant Inamdar, has opposed the policy of building new FOBs and subways in the city. Last year, in a detailed email he also conveyed his objections to the commissioner of PMC.
Not pedestrian friendly
“These grade-separated facilities are not pedestrian friendly and remain largely unused. Their main aim is to provide unhindered path for vehicles by shifting pedestrians away from the road to a different level, rather than out of any serious concern for them. Moreover, these facilities are not properly maintained by the PMC,” said Inamdar “ Aside from the high cost of construction, it also incurs heavy recurring expenditure: salaries of security guards, lift operators, electricity charges, operation and maintenance of lifts, maintenance of the facilities, etc. Therefore, FOBs and subways are not serving the desired purpose, it is just a sheer waste of public money,” he added.
Rs 2.62lakh Budget for new subway on Paud Road
Rs 3.81lakh Budget for new subway on Karve Road