PMC to start walking plaza on Laxmi Road

ST CORRESPONDENT
Thursday, 25 October 2018

Madhav Jagtap, Head of Anti-encroachment Department of PMC, said, “We have decided to implement walking plaza in Diwali festival in some part of Laxmi Road. There are alternative roads to divert traffic. We have also planned to remove encroachment on footpaths to make people free to walk on roads during Diwali festival.

Pune: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to implement the concept of a walking plaza on Laxmi Road – one of the busiest and most popular roads for shopping. During Diwali festival, the PMC is going to start walking plaza on the route from Datta Mandir – Burud Ali (Mandai) – Chitale shop – Vishrambaug Wada to Samadhan Chowk.

Laxmi Road is an important marketplace and even at normal times, there is a heavy pedestrian movement of shoppers on the road. Inadequate or non-existent footpaths, encroachments on footpaths and vehicle parking on both sides force pedestrians to walk on the road thus slowing down the traffic movement. It is also seen that an excessive number of vehicles and proportionately less parking space leads to haphazard parking and double parking on road, further eating up carriageway space and increasing congestion.

Earlier the plan was discussed in 2011, but it was ended on a discussion level.  However, last year, the PMC made up their mind to start walking plaza on 400-metre patch from Ganpati Chowk to Shagun Chowk once in a week, especially on Sundays. However, shopkeepers took objections. They had pointed out issues such as lack of parking space, encroachment on footpaths but were ready to support corporation on a condition that PMC should tackle parking and encroachment issue. The corporation had accepted the challenge to remove hurdle of encroachments and make the area free for people to walk. However, the Plaza plan could not work out. 
 
Madhav Jagtap, Head of Anti-encroachment Department of PMC, said, “We have decided to implement walking plaza in Diwali festival in some part of Laxmi Road. There are alternative roads to divert traffic. We have also planned to remove encroachment on footpaths to make people free to walk on roads during Diwali festival.”Over 1,170 buses ply on Laxmi Road every day towards Deccan carrying 40,000 commuters. The road is the easiest way for citizens from Cantonment areas to reach the central parts of the city.

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