Pune: Pedestrian Woes Addressed By Bombay High Court, Orders Authorities To Respond

Pune: Pedestrian Woes Addressed By Bombay High Court, Orders Authorities To Respond

The PIL, specifically addressing pedestrians' rights, revealed the number of challenges pedestrians face daily in Pune.

Gunwanti ParasteUpdated: Tuesday, December 12, 2023, 07:50 PM IST
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Pune: Pedestrian Woes Addressed By Bombay High Court, Orders Authorities To Respond |

Taking cognisance of the deteriorating conditions of footpaths and pedestrian rights in Pune, the Bombay High Court now, in response to Public Interest Litigation (PIL) 141 of 2923 filed by senior social activist Qaneez Sukhrani, has directed the civic body and other government bodies to file affidavits clarifying their stance.

The PIL, specifically addressing pedestrians' rights, revealed the number of challenges pedestrians face daily in Pune.

The court now has instructed the respondents including Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), Urban Development Department, Town Planning Department, District Collector, Maha Metro, and PMRDA to submit their affidavits within four weeks, by December 27, 2023. The next hearing for the same is now scheduled for January 17, 2024.

'PMC has neglected pedestrians' rights'

According to the petitioner's representative, advocate Satya Muley, PMC has neglected pedestrians' rights, leading to badly constructed or broken footpaths, encroachments by illegal vendors, hawkers, food stalls, beggars, and more.

The unplanned digging and lack of basic facilities such as pedestrian crossings, ramps for accessibility, and marked zebra crossings further exacerbate the challenges faced by pedestrians.

Ironically, on December 11th, PMC celebrated Pedestrians Day while the Bombay High Court ordered an investigation into the apathy towards pedestrian rights.

Many key areas within PMC jurisdiction lack footpaths, due to encroachments or repeated digging.

Pedestrians in Pune are forced to walk on roads

In such a state, pedestrians in Pune are forced to walk on roads due to encroached or dug-up footpaths. The ongoing Metro Rail project aggravates the situation, with footpaths being dug up or consumed entirely by entry/exit staircases.

Major encroachments on footpaths are observed in locations such as Nagar Road, Aundh Road, Karve Road, Satara Road, Baner Road, Swargate, Pashan Road, Koregaon Park Roads, Fergusson College Road, and Balewadi High Street.

The petitioner filed the PIL due to PMC's apparent disregard for pedestrians' rights. Despite filing the petition in August 2023, there has been no corrective action by PMC so far.

While PMC claims adherence to Indian Road Congress (IRC) Norms 103 of 2012, the petitioner argued a complete lack of implementation.

The PIL emphasises PMC's constitutional responsibility to develop proper pedestrian facilities, which has been neglected, affecting pedestrians' fundamental rights.

The citizens of Pune are compelled to seek legal remedies to address basic amenities like footpaths, reflecting a perceived collapse of municipal administration. The court's intervention signifies a critical step towards rectifying the situation and ensuring pedestrian safety and rights in Pune.

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