Saturday, January 30, 2010

Metro & Me, a thought !

30 1 10


One more topic for we discussion loving Punekar's! I really wonder has any thing ever is going to be implemented in this city in reality! As take it Hill Top Hill Slope or BDP or BRT or PCMPL or River Transport or Flyovers or Mono rail or even our city's very own Development plan! My my! The list of issues is unending but our enthusiasm to debate is unending!

Agreed memory of the public is very short but with such speed we will beat Mr. Gajani in forgetting the older & much sever existing issues & chase the new one! I am no master on the subject of Public Transport but as an Engineer, Environmentalist, Developer & most important Citizen of this city, I only have few questions rather points in mind which I will like to share, so somewhere somebody can take cognizance & may get assisted.

Agreed Metro has effectively served / implemented in many cities but considering the cost involved in its building either it has been thought & implemented in very early or it has been set up when all other systems are in presence yet the city is facing congestion. For e.g. cities like New York, Landon have Metro now at least from 40 years back, when the city was yet to developed ,naturally the construction wasn’t a hurdle as well the routes were well studied & easy to draw. In cities like Mumbai, all other modes of transportation are all ready established & operating at their fullest, reffer Local trains, and series of Flyovers & BEST busses proving to its name on bus route. Yet the city needs more means of transportation & that’s why they have come up with Metro. Again the geography of city is an important factor along with the commercial growth, for the Metro's success. In Mumbai /Delhi number of people travel in one particular direction at a particular defined timing making the mass transportation a profitable as well viable option.

Now look at the traffic/transportation scenario In Pune, the city has already grown haphazard way, also the destinations aren’t that far, so what we need is to strengthen the road ways transport first. In last many years even after the so hyped merging of PMT & PCMT we are not able to convert more commuters to the public transport is a fact. We have started with BRT & that also isn’t yet can be called as a success. Though the commuters traveling daily with BRT have shown satisfaction but thousands of those who travel on same route by their private vehicles have got tremendous negative opinion about it. We can’t force people to give up any mean of transportation but we need to assure them about the convenience of public transport. And that’s only possible by giving best service in whatever system we are adopting. Here at this front we need to ask our self a question, have we ever done that? i.e. a properly running on time, with stopages, waiting areas in good shape type transportation system. Also the routes covering not all but most of the parts of the city which the people will need for their day to day works. Also is the importance for prioritizing the net work of roads in suburbs & in fringe areas too. So people residing there also can utilize Metro for communication with the main city, making the proposal more viable.
But fact is leaving apart the Regional Plan roads; we are yet to prepare the Development Plan roads itself!

About existing road conditions also, it’s like ongoing war! Look at the news papers & actual field conditions of major roads like Paud road, Karve road,Baner road or Hadapsar road, we are unable to finish the road work in time is a fact. And the Metro is going via these roads. To my knowledge all these roads are concrete road & the city has spent huge amount for construction. Now as an engineer, it’s clear that construction of Metro that too over head in major stretches is bound to required digging these entire road portions where the pillars of the Metro will be coming. This means are we wasting all the road work expenses made till now? And if we are keen on Metro then why are we proceeding with the concreting of the newer portion, which is still in progress? As at least we can save on that much & make tarring right now.

And even the proposal isn’t yet to be through the media is publishing news like No Development along the corridor of the Metro! This is enough to spread the panic amongst the landlords & turning the negative minds on about the Metro! On one hand we are not yet even convinced about the necessity of the Metro or not clarified how we are going to make the proposal feasible, I am not even saying viable! On one side we haven’t made any clear provision of funds of acquiring reservation land under Hill Top Hill Slope (BDP) or gardens around the nallahs/ odhas flowing from the city, acquisition of so many reservation lands is pending & on other side we have gone in to new budgetary head & involved in new debate!

Frankly every time it’s like the city has only one problem & that’s Traffic! We have so many other issues like Water lines, Drainage lines, Recycling of drainage water, Power cables & Cable laying. We have yet to touch basic education & public health & hygiene, but who cares! Right now it’s Metro so lets debate & debate, that’s the way we are :)

Again I wrote it not to oppose or support the Metro but either we should learn to believe something blindly or stop expecting anything, as without that all seems bleak & we have had enough examples to prove this. I think keeping in mind such all fronts if we develop all them & Metro then it makes sense. Like it’s because of National Games the major road net work got completed, if because of Metro all these things gets developed, then that will be real success of the concept Metro!

Sanjay Deshpande

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