Pune: Citizens Suffer While PMC Commissioner Plays VIP Road Politics

Pune: PMC Commissioner Orders To Fill Potholes From Tonight
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Sumit Singh

Pune, 7th September 2023 — Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) finds itself mired in controversy as it shifts its focus towards maintaining “VIP roads” while neglecting pressing issues such as potholes, water problems, and traffic jams, leaving citizens to suffer the consequences. Citizens and critics have taken to Twitter to openly express their grievances, with many highlighting PMC Commissioner Vikram Kumar’s apparent indifference to these pressing concerns.

Citizens and local media outlets have repeatedly voiced their complaints about the PMC’s inaction in response to these issues. Residents claim that Vikram Kumar has not only failed to respond to their pleas but has also shown a lack of concern for the daily hardships caused by dilapidated roads and other deteriorating conditions in the city.

Adding fuel to the fire, sources allege that Vikram Kumar’s tenure should have concluded in July, yet he remains in his position due to political influence and affiliations with powerful political figures. This development comes at a crucial time, with elections on the horizon, and raises concerns about undue political interference in the administration of PMC.

Vikram Kumar’s appointment as Pune Municipal Commissioner followed the sudden transfer of his predecessor, Gaikwad, who had faced criticism for his handling of pandemic-related decisions and a lack of transparency with elected representatives.

One frustrated resident took to Twitter, tweeting, “We have come to the PMC commissioner, but he is busy. We have been waiting since 9:45 AM. What should we do now?” This tweet reflects the growing frustration among Pune’s citizens.

Another tweet by Rahul Jain accused PMC of prioritizing high-profile events over the well-being of common citizens, saying, “All this for G20, not for common citizens… Pune city was also decorated for G20, and now it’s back to dirt, traffic jams, potholes, etc… thanks to @PMCPune for ignoring tax-paying citizens and doing Jee Hazuri to foreign delegates.”

In an attempt to improve the city’s infrastructure and shift away from the practice of hastily beautifying roads for VIP visits, PMC has unveiled a plan to maintain 15 key road stretches as “VIP roads” throughout the year. While this initiative may have noble intentions, it has raised concerns about PMC’s priorities and responsiveness to the needs of its citizens.

The identified ‘VIP roads’ are located at crucial entry points to the city and are well-connected to significant landmarks. PMC’s ‘Mission 15’ initiative aims to ensure these roads remain in impeccable condition year-round, addressing past criticisms of temporary fixes for high-profile visits.

While PMC’s Chief Engineer, V G Kulkarni, emphasized the importance of these roads as major entry points to the city and key landmarks, critics argue that these efforts should not overshadow the pressing issues faced by everyday citizens.

To ensure these ‘VIP roads’ stay well-maintained, PMC plans to appoint 15 dedicated ‘road marshals,’ one for each selected road. These teams will consist of traffic police, anti-encroachment inspectors, security guards, and helpers, with their primary responsibility being continuous monitoring and maintenance.

Here is the list of the selected ‘VIP roads’:

Nagar road from Parnkuti chowk to Wagholi-Bakori phata
Solapur road from Wanowrie chowk to Akashwani Manjari chowk
Magarpatta road from Magarpatta chowk to Kharadi Bypass chowk
Pashan Road from Pune University chowk to Pashan Bavdhan Circle chowk
Baner road from Pune university chowk to Sadanand hotel chowk
Sangamwadi road from COEP chowk to Parnkutti chowk
Vimantal VIP road from Pune airport to Gunjan chowk
Karve road from Khandojibaba chowk to Warje chowk
Paud road from Paud Phata to Chandi chowk
Satara road from Swargate chowk to Gujarwadi chowk
Sinhagad road from Laxmi mandir chowk to Nanded city chowk
Bibwewadi road from Pushpmangal chowk to Upper Bus depot chowk

North Main road from Koregaon Park petrol pump to Tadigutta chowk
Ganeshkhind road from COEP chowk to Pune University chowk
Bajirao road and Shivaji road for heritage walk from Swargate chowk to Shimla office chowk via Shaniwarwada


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