Residents of Wakad troubled by encroachments on footpaths : Seek solution from PCMC

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By: Pune Pulse

September 2, 2023

Pune: Residents of Rhythm Society, Kalewadi Phata, Wakad are in distress due to numerous encroachments on the footpath areas.

As per information shared by Abhijit Garad, Secretary of Rhythm Society, Wakad, “There are many unauthorized structures/encroachments on the footpaths on Aundh-Ravet BRTS Road between Kalewadi Phata and Kaveri Nagar Subway. The level of encroachment is such that it is impossible to see the existence of the footpath. There is no question of walking on them. In many areas between Kalewadi Phata and Kaverinagar Subway. There are many unauthorized structures on footpaths. The result is that because the footpath is narrow, pedestrians face difficulty.” 

For example:

1. The entire footpath at the main corner of Kalewadi Phata is encroached by fish sellers leaving no space for pedestrians.

2. The rickshaw stand at Kalewadi Phata blocks half of the road and creates undisciplined traffic. They also occupy the exit from the BRT illegally, causing more jams on the narrow road making it almost impossible to walk by, creating safety hazards.

3. There are few garage shops between Kalewadi Phata and Rhythm Society, the entire footpath, and most of the space below the flyover is encroached upon by mechanics and vehicles.

4. The wine shops near the Rhythm Society Gate have a license to do business inside the premises but the footpath is completely encroached upon by its customers. The customers are leaving empty bottles in front of our gate. A few customers are using the footpath space for parking, drinking, and urinating at times. This makes the area unsafe to walk around even during daytime as drunk people keep on roaming. The rickshaw drivers are seen drinking and chit-chatting anytime, they simply park there and don’t attend any business.

5. Most of the footpath and roadside space along this stretch is encroached similarly by either shop owners or street vendors. As a result, pedestrians, cyclists, especially children, the elderly, and women in our society feel less safe on the roads.”

The non-motorized Transport Policy of PCMC envisions enhancing pedestrian infrastructure to enable citizens to safely and affordably access nearby areas. 

The current situation of footpaths completely goes against the goal of ‘movement of people, not vehicles’ expressed in the policy. Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) is spending crores on the renewal of footpaths but if those remain occupied/ encroached illegally then PCMC should not spend money on footpaths.

Hence, residents have demanded immediate action on the following:

1. Remove unauthorized structures and encroachments on footpaths in the area between Kalewadi Phata to Kaverinagar Subway.

2. Make the footpath compliant with the IRC standards as stated in the policy. The width and height of the footpaths should be such that it ensures enough space to accommodate the daily footfall and that adequate distance between pedestrians is maintained.

3. Keep all public infrastructure clean in the area between Kalewadi Phata to Kaverinagar Subway which includes BRTS stop, subway, area below flyover, footpath,etc.

Pune Pulse tried contacting the relevant PCMC officials but couldn’t connect.

Shreyas Vange