The two notorious accident-prone stretches- Khadi Machine chowk and Undri chowk have once again gone back to their original chaotic nature due to a lack of traffic police vigilance and the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) apathy.
PMC commissioner Vikram Kumar in March this year had inaugurated the first blackspot redesign on Pune’s zero fatality corridor at Undri chowk.
The traffic cones, safety barriers and road studs had been put at the spots by SaveLIFE Foundation, but lack of vigilance by the PMC and absence of traffic police personnel are leading to more congestion at the spots. Area residents claimed that a major issue related to congestion was the haphazard and illegal parking of autos at both the blackspots which were complicating the traffic scenario.
DCP (traffic ) Rahul Srirame said, “Things are getting back to what they were earlier though the NGO has done a commendable job in tabulating data and studying the traffic behaviour and their intervention regarding the safety of lives of pedestrians has also yielded good results. The trials are for short period and after that, it is the PMC along with the traffic department to take it forward,” he said.
Sachin Punekar, a social activist from Undri, said, “After June, it will be tough for commuters to pass through the area as there are eight schools in the area. There are some private persons posted there, but their work needs support from the corporation and traffic department. The PMC and traffic police both are found wanting in their duties in taking the safety standards forward,” he said.
To save lives on Pune’s roads, PMC had launched Tactical Urbanism trials at the Undri chowk and Khadi Machine chowk. Between 2017 and 2020, the Khadi Machine chowk witnessed 65 road crashes. Undri Chowk, from 2017 to 2019, registered 34 road crashes.