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Friday, August 13, 2004

Pune's pot-holed roads.

Wanted to write this. I'm from Pune. I like my city.

Pune needs better roads, more fly-overs and roads that last a monsoon!

Pune's Pot-holed Roads. Rains, pot-holes, traffic-jams, road widening and construction, water-logging has made driving on the roads of Pune, a challenge (a euphemism, use your own harsh word here). I have my bike in Hyderabad or else I'd have got a severe backache riding my bike on Pune's pot-holed roads.

The condition of Pune's roads is pathetic. Today's newspaper states that there has been record rainfall in Pune for the month of August. There has been more rainfall this August, in these two weeks, than it has been for the last forty-eight years of August!!

The roads of Pune are in a very bad shape would be an under-statement. There is no sign of roads. At the Pune-Nagar road, the stretch from Ramwadi octroi post to Shastrinagar, road widening and concretization is going on so only one side of the road is available for traffic and that too is an apology for a road. The Pune-Nagar road from Shastrinagar to Ramwadi and beyond is a collection of pot-holes. An assorted collection of pot-holes of various shapes and sizes on the ground and that's Pune-Nagar road for you.

Nagar Road is the second worst road in Pune, as per a recent article in The Times of India. The worst road in Pune is the Pune-Solapur, Hadapsar road.

They can't even repair the road as only one side is available for traffic. So for a quick fix solution small stones are dumped to fill the potholes on the road and as it rains, they scatter and that creates even more difficulties.

Having worked in different cities, a comparison always crops up.

In Hyderabad the authorities have a novel way. They do all the road repairing, cleaning work at night, when the roads are empty and there is less traffic. In Hyderabad, if you go out early in the morning or late in the night, you will find workers in their light blue dress, cleaning the roads, marking lines for pedestrian crossing, doing road construction.
However, now, as the Congress is in power, I don't know what the condition of Hyderabad will be. They too should continue with the good work done by Chandrababu Naidu; if not for the whole of Andhra Pradesh, then atleast for Hyderabad.

Andhra Pradesh is already offering free electricity to farmers (that was a major point on which the Congress came to power in A.P.) and last month there was an announcement by the CM of Maharashtra (with an eye on the forthcoming Assembly election at the end of the year), that they too would be offering free electricity to farmers and all rural agriculture bills would be waived off from July 2004 onwards. There was also another announcement about the increase in petrol prices and a further increase expected.

Pune has the third highest number of IT companies after Bangalore and Hyderabad.
Our infrastructure needs a lot of improvement. If Pune has to compete with other cities like Hyderabad, Bangalore, Bombay and Gurgaon; our infrastructure has to improve. In Bangalore there are a lot of traffic-jams due to the construction of flyovers. Once that is done, the going would be smooth. In Pune, there is a need for flyovers!

Koregaon Park (it isn't a park, it is an area) in Pune isn't the same anymore.
The North Main Road was always more commercial with the influence of the Osho Commune. Now even the South Main Road has become commercialised. Almost every nook and corner has been occupied on the North Main Road of Koregaon Park and the same is happening with the South Main Road, with people selling ethnic wear, small eating joints, boutiques, shops selling handicrafts and other items (targetted at tourists) and other small and big shops and offices on the narrow road with ever-increasing traffic. A lot of software companies have their offices in Koregaon Park. It was and still is a piece of prime real estate.

I wouldn't suggest new IT companies to set base at Koregaon Park. Instead of that, the IT park at Kharadi on Pune-Nagar road or the new buildings, and there are so many of them coming up at Kalyaninagar or the apartments at Vimannagar would be a good choice to start a new IT company. Now Koregaon Park has been linked to Kalyaninagar with a bridge, from the end of North Main Road to the start of Kalyaninagar.

There's is so much construction activity going on in Kalyaninagar. Business has picked up for the small shops, grocery stores and eating joints in Kalyaninagar. Earlier most of the eateries used to be vacant in the afternoons, now there are so many bikes parked.

There was a news item on Aajtak channel a couple of days back wherein they had mentioned about people betting huge amounts on the rainfall in Mumbai by the end of September this year. As the saying goes, 'One doesn't need an occasion to Gamble!.'

So these were some thoughts about my city Pune, pot-holes, rains, infrastructure, progress and development.

I'm commuting by Auto as I don't have my bike here. Once I get my bike, more news about Pune in the rains.
A trip to Khadakwasla Lake, bad roads or not is a must!

Bye for now!