Categories: INDIA NEWS

Voices from the ground: Pimpri-Chinchwad residents set agenda for new commissioner

Indiscriminately placed unwieldy speadbreakers, encroached footpaths, tattered roads, uncleared garbage, choked nullahs — residents in Pimpri-Chinchwad have one grouse too many against the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation. Aggrieved citizens want new Municipal Commissioner Rajesh Patil to take up their complaints against deficiency in services on priority.

Here are some of grievances from residents in the industrial city:

Sachin Godambe, a resident of Bhosari, says, “Whether in Bhosari or elsewhere in Pimpri-Chinchwad, speed-breakers are constructed indscriminately and in all size and shapes. There is no standard. None of them have been constructed as per the Indian Road Congress norms. Some of the abnormal sized ones have caused accidents and deaths. PCMC has never given any serious thought to setting up speed-breakers that can slow down the speed of vehicles as well as ensure safety and comfort for riders and drivers.” Godambe also said a bustling surburb like Bhosari does not have a full-fledged civic hospital. “Residents here have to rely on private hospitals,” he said.

In ummarket Pimple Nilakh area, Sudhir Kawde, a resident, says garbage can be found strewn everywhere. “PCMC does have vehicles for the garbage. But, people dump garbage whereever possible, even right in front of gardens,” he says. Besides, he says the road development works in the area are extremely slow. “Work on one stretch started before Covid-19 norms were in place. And it has just been completed. Throughout the year, residents endured a nightmare.”

In neighbouring post Wakad area, Ashok Morwal, a resident, complains, “Choked storm water drains are a major problem here. They emanate stench and have created a mosquito problem. Workers are rarely seen clearing them.” Morwal says a nullah near Omega Paradise is always choked, causing a mosquito menace in the area. He also complains about foothpaths being encroached.

Rajan Pillay, a resident of Bopkhel, says, “Despite being merged with PCMC years back, the suburbs of Bophkel remains largely neglected. We don’t have a single civic hospital.” Pillay says the residents continue to face a nightmare when it comes to reaching Pimpri-Chinchwad and Khadki. “The bridge work connecting Bopkhel with Khadki is moving at an excrutiatingly slow pace. We urge the PCMC to kindly expedite the work and ease our travails.”

From top left, clockwise: Manav Kamble, Sagar Charan, Ashok Morwal, Sachin Godambe, Rajan Pillay and William Naidu

Pradnya Patil, a resident of Rahatni, says traffic congestion is a major problem in Rahatni area, especially during the wedding season. “There are three marriage halls close to each other. Whenever marriages take place, it leads to traffic congestion. The PCMC in tandem with the police should ensure proper parking space and manage the traffic. This will ease the headache of not only local people but also the road users.”

Manav Kamble, a resident of Chinchwad, says, “All roads in Chinchwad and nearby areas have been dug up for various works. This creates traffic impediments and danger to road users.” Kamble says the Pavana river passing through Chinchwad is the most polluted one. “The sewage water is released untreated into the river which looks more like a nullah than a river. It has also spawned a mosquito problem,” he adds.

Kamble says in Chinchwad station area, a stream has been covered up partially and a residential society constructed. “This has affected the natural flow of the stream leading to flooding in the area during the monsoon. A similar situation prevails in other areas where streams or nullahs have been partially covered or their course has been changed.”

The biggest problem, says Kamble, is regarding encroachments on footpaths. “PCMC has consistently ignored this aspect which has endangered the lives of the pedestrians.”

William Naidu, a resident of Sambhajinagar, says, “Roads have remained tattered and unpaved for months. In another three months, monsoon will start and it will aggravate the situation. PCMC should immediately started road paving work.”

Haphazardly parked vehicles is another major problem in Sambhajinagar area, says Naidu. “The police and PCMC should frame policy for parking of vehicles on internal roads as it has become the biggest headache for local residents.”

Naidu says in Mahatma Phule Nagar area near Thermax chowk, residents have illegally extended their constructions but PCMC has largely ignored them. “Besides, the Spine Road is in terrible shaple. The cement concrete infrastructure has been damaged there but civic officials looking the other way.”

Sagar Charan, a resident of Kamgar Nagar, says, “Speedbreakers pose serious threats to the lives of citizens here. They are in bad shape and in abnormal sizes. They are not even marked in white, and therefore difficult to detect at night.” Charan says gardens for the elderly should be constructed by PCMC in Kamgar Nagar.

Raja Sawant, a resident of Pimpri, says, “Traffic congestion is Pimpri’s biggest problem. PCMC should find a permanent solution to it. It can tie up with police to ensure smooth flow of traffic.”

Lahoo Landge, a resident of Kasarwadi, says, “The stretch of Pune-Mumbai highway from Nashik Phata chowk to subway at Kasarwadi, remains in the grip of encroachers. Vehicles are parked right on the highway yet the PCMC and police ignore this blatant violation. Both PCMC and police are passing the buck to each other. The last commissioner Shravan Hardikar did not take the problem seriously. I hope the new municipal commissioner will take it seriously and resolve the problem which affects the smooth flow of traffic and poses threat to the lives of citizens.”

Domnic Lobo, a resident of Sangvi, says, “PCMC is carrying out a drive against illegal structures but PCMC itself is violating building bye laws by using the entire basement meant for parking for its offices, like election branch. Negligent officials should face action before citizens. Right opposite the PCMC Commissioner’s office the commercial buildings on the other side of the road have shops in the basement, which is meant for parking.”

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