Yup, it truly is.
The past couple of weeks have seen me trying to grapple with commuting on the Pune University Road. Some years ago, a couple of flyovers were being constructed here and that completely threw the traffic out of gear, especially during the monsoon. Now, it is the resurfacing or ‘concretisation’ of that road which is causing so much trouble.
The carriage width of this road, especially in the section from E-Square to Central and beyond, is so narrow that there are massive traffic snarls everyday at any given point in time. It is especially worse during the period from 7-9 pm. To compound matters, there are plenty of lanes on the sides, leading towards Model Colony and close by areas, so depending on which side you are going towards, you will find vehicles suddenly zipping out of these lanes, or else crowding a particular intersection, waiting to turn to the right, into those lanes.
I also think the location of the Pune Central shopping mall is an ill conceived one. This entire stretch of road, even once completed, will make it even more chaotic. This will essentially be a high speed road, so people from Aundh, Baner and Pashan are going to crowd that area to take a right turn into Central, leading to more snarls or heaven forbid, accidents.
The number of heavy vehicles is also significantly higher, especially buses, like Volvos (ferrying passengers on the Pune-Mumbai route), buses hired by companies for employee transportation and of course, the PMC buses. Trucks also ply on this road thereby taking up huge space on the already congested road.
If one thought atleast the flyovers would bring some relief, hold on… It is possible you may get stuck in traffic even as you are ascending it, or else suddenly find oncoming vehicles on the flyover itself. Getting out of this mess can take almost 30 minutes on a two wheeler, and probably 45 minutes to an hour on a four wheeler.
While all these development initiatives are good, one wishes that the PMC had someone to actually plan all these activities in a more methodic and systematic manner. Presently, the trend is to focus mainly on roads or areas based on some activities, like the Commonwealth Games in this case, or a VIP’s visit for example.
There also needs to be better coordination between the PMC, the electrical guys (MSEB) and the phone chaps (BSNL & others), not to mention broadband service providers, so they don’t come digging up freshly surfaced roads.
Wonder if this is asking too much !! 🙂