In way of metro, PMC faces legal threat for trees

Devendra Fadnavis, chief minister, gave a final verdict in the conflict between the Shivsrushti and Pune Metro projects. The conflict was related to land at the Kothrud garbage depot. On February 6, as per Fadnavis’ decision, the heritage park has been shifted to the biodiversity park zone at Chandani Chowk. Hence, the work for public transport initiative is all set to start.  On one hand, this plan has been welcomed by most political parties. On the other, a citybased group of nature lovers has objected it largely.

On February 7, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) were  warned by members of the Nisargsevak group. According to Pune Mirror, the members said that they will initiate legal action if 1,000 fully grown trees are cut down. These trees were planted in the memory of their loved ones over five acres of depot land- ‘Smruti Udyan’.

In 2002, as per an agreement, Nisargsevak group was given this tranche of 28-acre Kothrud garbage dumping area by PMC for afforestation purposes. The property was given to the activists to plant trees on a 10-year lease under ‘Smruti Udyan’. As per the agreement, after 10 years, all the trees would be handed over to the PMC.

Medha Joshi, secretary, Nisargsevak told Pune Mirror, “There are so many sentiments attached to these trees, as they hold memories of loved ones for many. Hacking them for the proposed Pune Metro goes against this. Our legal agreement also does not allow their destruction.”

Brijesh Dixit, managing director, Maha Metro said, “We are aware of this agreement and the emotions of citizens attached to the trees at the depot. We are considering a plan under which not a single tree will be hacked. They will be replanted carefully, keeping the name and memory of the loved ones intact. While executing this procedure, we would also invite the planters of these trees to supervise the re-plantation.”

Traffic cop puts an end to constant violations on Aundh’s DP road 

The stretch between Parihar Chowk and Ambedkar Chowk was facing constant no entry violations by the commuters. Pune Mirror, on January 3, reported about this issue prevailing in the Aundh area of the city. Not only was it affecting the motorists but also the pedestrians and residents of that area. But now the situation has been tackled. Around 50 vehicles were caught in a span of five days.

The reason behind the violations was the closure of a lane between the aforementioned chowks. The closure took place as Pune Municipal Corporation had initiated Smart City work on this route. Consequently, a diversion from ITI road was instructed to the commuters so that they could reach their destination. However, very few people followed this rule.

As per Pune Mirror, Navnath Ghogre, police inspector (traffic), Chaturshringi police station, said, “Regular action was always being taken against vehicle owners found violating norms and going into no-entry lanes. But, rather than stressing on penalties, we are laying stress on creating awareness and counselling rule-violators about the consequences of their actions.”

The Police also took note of the fact that some residents had to necessarily go in the wrong direction so as to reach their homes.

People who live in the nearby areas appreciated the efforts taken by the traffic police. Ashutosh Jadhav, a local resident, said, “It is good that the traffic police department has finally woken up to its responsibilities and acted — one hopes that this will help end the constant traffic snarls on this road. Also, members of the public should be more vigilant about following regulations, as they only risk the lives of innocent people when they don’t.”

Source: Pune Mirror

Ganesh Pandals still on Pune roads; Citizens face trouble

It has been almost two weeks that Ganesh Utsav has ended in the city, still, the pandals have not been dismantled. Pedestrians have been facing trouble in walking on the footpaths along JM Road, Pune.  Pandals have restricted the space and pits, which were dug to plant poles still remain.

According to the Times of India, citizens of the city reported that footpaths have been suffering for about 20 days because the construction of pandals began a full 10 days before the festival this year. People have started seeking actions and they believe it’s time authorities initiate some strong legal action.
According to this year festival guidelines, the organisations are supposed to complete the permissions process four to five days before the start of the Ganesh Festival. The municipal corporation own records reveal that less than 50% of organisers have completed the formalities to construct pandals. Moreover, it is estimated that nearly, 1000 Ganesh organisations applied for permission this year, and rest 1500 mandalas, ran without permission. However, the civic administration has not taken any step against them.
Image and news source – TOI 

Kothrud celebrates Xmas eve merrily

After spreading happiness among the habitants of Pune Camp for three consecutive Sundays, ‘Happy Streets’ is now in Kothrud, Pune. Starting from December 25, the programme will add to the festive cheer and Christmas enjoyment of people living in and around. Times of India and Maharashtra Times with Pune Police, Pune Traffic Police and Pune Municipal Corporation organise ‘Happy Streets’.

It will be an annual outdoor event, where for three hours, in the early morning, starting from 6: 30 am one part of DP road towards Rajkamal Departmental Store will be filled with a lot of activities suitable for all age groups.

They also have three other options of dance-based fitness programmes. Thinking about the newest ways of losing weight, they have kept Zumba and Bokwa as well. There are family activities, which include multiple rounds of badminton, football for the day’s share of cardio, cycling around the venue, profound yoga and peaceful rounds of meditation sessions. In fact, they have also arranged several rounds of Drum Circle and a VJ Live stage to dance on some music.

Without ignoring the kids, they have kept a special area, and a whole bunch of thrilling traditional games, like skipping. Keeping in mind the demands of a woman they have come up with a special corner for them. All ladies can indulge in the leisure and fashionable activities, like Nail art.

So many memories need to be captured so that can be cherished forever, and for this, a selfie corner has been set up, with its props and eccentric accessories.

The Javdekar Developers along with NGO Poornam Eco Vision has introduced a special e-waste disposal drive, as a part of the programme, This is for the people who want the safe disposal of their e-waste, like computer hardware, batteries LED bulbs and tube lights and much more.

According to Vilas Javdekar Developers, they aim at popularising the concept of transport free roads for fun and involving community activities.

Source: Times of India 

PMC receives one million dollars of funding for sustainable transport research

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has received funding worth approximately 1 million dollars from the Asian Development Bank to conduct studies on public transport and to promote its use. PMC has stated that it is one of two cities chosen for this grant, with the other being Mumbai.

The survey and subsequent research shall attempt to improve the condition of public transport in Pune, and it will attempt to increase the dependency of Pune’s citizens on public transport. The investment is part of the state’s attempt to combat climate change and enable Pune to become more sustainable in the future.

The PMC will attempt to carry out the survey in conjunction with a pre-existing parking policy. The move is part of a well-planned strategy to reduce congestion on the streets and to enhance manoeuvrability by employing parking management methods, along with methods that can be introduced upon the completion of the study. The results of the study will also be used to inhibit unsustainable modes of transport like private vehicles. The Travel Demand Management (TDM) also plans to provide incentives to citizens who use sustainable modes of transport.

However, reception to this news has not been entirely positive, with several activists claiming that it will not be implemented well by the PMC. Jugal Rathi, a member of an NGO called Prayasi Manch said, “It’s just cosmetic work. There are so many reports PMC is already privy to, but zero implementation. After ADB’s announcement, PMC will utilise the funds, but one cannot be sure if anything worth mentioning will be done.”

PMC quarters to be passed on to retired staffers’ kin

On Thursday, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) decided to allow retired staffers to pass on office quarters to their relatives, but only if they are also working with the civic body.

This decision paves beneficial for Dhananjay Jadhav and Manisha Ghate, corporators of the Bharatiya Janata Party. In 2013, both of them had refused to surrender PMC quarters at Sane Guruji Nagar.

While this decision has seen light, there are some 3,500 employees from PMC who are still waitlisted for the aforementioned facility. This decision of passing the PMC staff quarters to the next generation, only if the latter is also working for PMC happened after Jadhav submitted a supplementary suggestion in a proposal.

Jadhav had resigned from as a corporator in January 2012 but continued to stay in room 207 in building 5 at the colony situated behind S P College. His proposal was passed by the general body easily without any intense discussion.

“My sister-in-law is a Class-IV PMC employee. So now, according to the passed proposal, I can continue to live in the quarters allotted to me. Class-IV employees don’t have the financial ability to invest in their own homes often, and only have the staff quarters to provide them with a roof over their heads. Based on this, I submitted my proposal. This is not ownership — it is a mere extension of the occupancy period,” Said Jadhav to Pune Mirror when asked about the proposal.

Manisha Ghate’s father-in-law, Ramchandra Shankar Ghate retired from in March 2003. Since tehn Ghate has been living in Sane Guruji Nagar quarters. She has not commented on this matter as of yet.

Ashok Yenpure who is a senior BJP corporator said that this is injustice to other staff members waiting in line to get staff quarters. The proposal should be struck down. Congress corporator Datta Bahirat agreed with his and said that PMC should remove this condition allowing staffers to carry forward occupancy of quarters to their kin working with the civic body.

Source: Pune Mirror