Friday, 21 October 2011

Pune diaries - A road less potholed

   Life is not one smooth journey, there's no denying that, but need the roads echo that sentiment too? After spending 2 months here, I can claim that Pune is a wonderful city - with pleasant weather, lot of greenery, cosmopolitan crowds, good cuisine, and a rapid rate of urbanization, thanks to the arrival of the corporate giants.But the travel woes here are another story.
    All the gainfully employed people travelling to the IT hub of the city, Hinjewadi, have also gained a backache for free. Whatever mode of transport you choose, public tempos and buses, or two-wheelers and cars, the lunar landscape of the roads leading there seem to spare no one. Having arrived here during the monsoons, it was pitiful to see the conditions of the roads. It seemed as though the employees were returning from some paddy planting in the fields rather than an air-conditioned office, thanks to the dirt and slush on their clothes and shoes.Few of my friends were even discussing the number of times they had been splashed on by muddy water due to a passing car. I gathered that dry-cleaners must surely be having a jolly good business season.
     A petition to the mayor was doing the rounds, and as a responsible citizen witness to the plight of my husband and friends facing the potholed menace day in and day out, I signed it. It had come down to the corporates having offices in this area thinking about pooling in their own resources to construct the road. But that would only be a one-time activity. The civic authorities had to step in for the maintenance. And it is ironical, that the region which is generating the most revenue for the authorities remains neglected.At this time it was also brought to my notice that some areas on the outskirts of Pune city, Hinjewadi being one of them, were not under the jurisdiction of the city municipality but were taken care of by local gram panchayats, indirectly the cause of sparse funding and failed infrastructure.
     With the monsoons abating, we hoped things would look up and repair work would start.Wishful thinking!
Hinjewadi roads remain dried up craters, while those in some other adjoining areas have just been filled over with grit and stones, a new nuisance for pedestrians. Well, just a matter of time and these will be dispersed exposing the pockmarked surfaces again. It is high time that our petition reached the mayor!

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