Why I Oppose Balbharati - Paud bypass

18 months ago I wanted the road. But not any more bacuse of the reasons below. Any amount of new roads and flyovers will not solve the problem (see more details below). Bombay built 55 flyovers, with what result, there is still a perpetual gridlock on the roads of Mumbai.

Also the road over the hill deforests 10,000 trees. How can that be taken care off by planting 1000 saplings (as the PMC says). The trees need at least 25years to grow and mature.

Pune has not managed to finish more than 30% of work on flyovers in 2 LONG years. By the time they decide whether the Balbharati-Paud road should be over the hill or through a tunnel, commision it, find the money and eventually build it - It may 5 years before we ride on it. By then 60 Lacs additional vehicles will be added to Pune roads. What use will this by-pass be by then?

The PMC is not even able to re-surface existing roads, can we trust them to build a road through the hills or a tunnel? MSRD has withdrawn its funding...

Also look at the evidence from around the world - The experience of large cities in China shows that construction of such high capacity roads has not even improved traffic congestion levels:
  • Guangzhou: Has an orbital expressway and inner ring road and a large number of interchanges. The total number of vehicles is 1 million. However, the average speed on north-south and east-west main roads for 12 hrs in daytime is 18-21 km/h.12
  • Beijing: Has constructed two ring roads and the third ring road is in the process of completion. The city has already constructed 119 flyovers and 202 overpasses. The total number of vehicles is 1.2 million. However, the rush hour average speed on trunk roads is still 13-19 km/h.
  • Shanghai: The road area in Shanghai has been increased by 42% between 1991 and 1997 and 400 roads have been designated as one-way streets. The total number of vehicles is 1.3 million. The average vehicular speeds inside the inner ring road during rush hours are 16 km/h.
  • Shenzhen: The city has completed construction of 139 km of highways, the total number of vehicles is 250,000, but the rush hour average speed on main roads is 20 km/h.

    It is probably this experience of developments in Chinese cities that prompts Wu (Ministry of Construction) and Li (China Academy of Urban Planning and Design) to comment that "In the past five years, the input to road infrastructure in the large cities has been doubled. Almost all the large city authorities believe that the situation of traffic congestion may be alleviated through road construction.…But to date, we are still short of rational study which verifies the relationship between road infrastructure and traffic volume or the ownership of motor vehicles...The traffic volume introduced with road construction may again increase vehicle emission and cause new traffic congestion, multiplying all the pollutants. So there would be no direct cause-and-effect relationship among infrastructure construction, pollution prevention and environmental protection"

    Adhiraj Joglekar

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