One of the top topics for discussion in Pune today, is the new hill road that has been approved. The road will connect Paud Road and Senapati Bapat Road and is expected to ease traffic congestion in Pune city.
1) In any issue in Pune, there’s normally more talk than action. In this case the administration is actually doing something to improve things. Any action is better than endless discussion.
2) It’s claimed that the road is well planned and will cause minimum damage to the environment.
3) Some claim that the road will reduce pollution and fuel consumption and so is in fact eco-friendly.
4) The road is expected to ease the pressure on Law College Road and Karve Road.
1) A carefully conserved part of a tree laden hill consisting of thousands of trees & natural streams will be lost.
2) Hundreds of birds & animals to whom this hill is home will be displaced.
3) The 100 ft road will be made by cutting into the hill slope making the hill above it unstable leading to frequent landslides.
4) Once the road comes up it will become a haunt for hawkers.
5) And anyway the road will be crowded in less than 6 months owing to the large influx of vehicles
(1-5 Reference Tekdi.org )
6) The traficc congestion will not be solved but instead just move to Senapat Bapat and Agarkar Road instead of Law College and Karve Road.
7) Senapati Bapat Road had the potential to become a wide arterial road but due to the unplanned construction of ICC International Convention Center) complex, even SB Road now cannot sustain the additional pressure from the new road. (Note: Do not be confused by the ‘convention center’ in ICC, it’s in fact just another unplanned commercial complex.)
So as things stand today, it looks very likely that the road will materialize. But it also looks very unlikely that it will contribute much to easing traffic in Pune.
The developing world unfortunately is making the same mistakes made by the developed nations. Building more roads and hoping that the traffic problem will get solved.
What’s really required is careful planning of cities. Will write about that some other time…
BTW I was part of the making of a documentary “Nagrik, a documentary on public participation in solving problems faced by a city”. This documentary looks at length about the issues of a developing city with reference to Pune and also talks of the hill road issue in Pune. Do have a look.