PMC admits lacunae in Swargate-Katraj BRTS

PUNE The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has admitted that India’s first pilot Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) corridor between Katraj-Swargate had several lacunae as a result of which civic body had to revamp it.

The report prepared by PMC road department following instructions from standing committee stated that pilot BRTS project was 6.2 kilometre in 2006-07 and it was designed in the middle of road and the bus stops were designed at the one side of the BRTS. It started functioning in 2008 though it faced multiple hurdles, often forcing the civic body to suspend PMPML service here.

The eight-page report, a copy of which is with HT, was submitted on Tuesday and lists out various repair work carried out on the stretch.

According to the new design, the position of BRTS bus stops changed and it was placed in the middle of the road. There are ten bus stops in the stretch from Swargate to Katraj. Earlier, there was a lane for private vehicles along with service lane near Katraj. Now, it has been completely revamped and there is the addition of another lane in the mixed traffic lane. Footpath and cycle track has been shifted to the corner of the road. Earlier, it was adjacent to the BRTS route, according to the report.

Hemant Rasne, chief, standing committee chief said, “Pune mayor Murlidhar Mohol had given instructions to restart a BRTS from January 1. However, due to some reason, it has not been restarted. On the other hand, the road department has tabled a report to the standing committee which we will discuss soon.”

After Mohol announced about starting of bus rapid transit corridor (BRTS) corridor from Katraj and Swargate on Satara road from January 1, Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) submitted a letter to PMC to put in place basic passenger safety facilities before reopening the route. The letter stated if these things are completed then only the bus service will be started on this route.

Amar Shinde, executive engineer, road department, who is handling BRTS work, said, “We have completed all necessary work to start BRTS on Swargate-Katraj route. We have also written letters and conducted meetings with PMPML officials about starting the route.”

Satish Gavane, traffic superintendent, PMPML, said, “It will take some time to make the route operational as the corporation has not fit automatic doors to BRTS bus stops, but, it will start soon.”

Aba Bagul, Congress leader, said, “Mere visit and announcement of restarting BRTS is not enough. The work of Swargate-Katraj BRTS has not been completed. It is too early to reopen the stretch for public transport buses.”

Qaneez Sukhrani, secretary, Nagrik Chetan Manch, said, “PMC has not executed a BRTS, but a mixed transport system and pulled funds on the wrong pretext. Now, it will have to further waste expenditure on BRTS which is a risk to the public as it is a failure in the city since it is not compliant with BRTS global concepts and features.”

The report further states that in the pilot project, there was no provision of the stormwater drain, drainage lines, electrical cables and utility services. Over the period, the corporation laid down the stormwater drain, drainage and electrical cables, street lights along with new water pipelines. The corporation has spent Rs 6.5 crore for utility services.

In the pilot project, the corporation had spent Rs 127.48 crore in 2006-2007. After that, PMC spent Rs 85 crore for revamping the entire stretch with changing cycle track, footpath, winding mix lane, and placing the bus stop at the middle of BRTS lane.

Reason for delayed of work

Restructuring of water pipelines, drainage lines, electrical cables, street lights, removal of encroachment of Dhankawadi-Balajinagar structure for footpath and cycle track has delayed the process of revamping Swargate-Katraj road and BRTS stretch.

According to the report, flyovers, underpasses and right-hand door buses of BRTS have created obstacles to complete work within deadline.

Deadlines missed

May 31, 2018; August 1, 2018;December 2018; March 2019; May 2020; January 1, 2021

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