Pune: A Pune traffic branch survey states that 40 per cent of the city roads are occupied by illegal encroachments and this is causing an increasing number of mishaps and fatal accidents. The survey was carried over a year by all the traffic divisions of the department.
It states that major portions on the roads have been taken over illegally by hawkers. Most of the footpaths too have been occupied. Pedestrians are being forced to walk on roads where vehicles move at high speed and this results in accidents.
The city traffic branch has furnished a list of the areas that saw a large number of accidents and at the same time have reported the maximum number of encroachment on footpaths. The traffic branch has made it clear that the encroachments are key reasons behind traffic choke-up in the city. The traffic department stated that main reasons behind the jams was the indifferent attitude of the civic body in evicting the encroachers.
Deputy commissioner of police (traffic) Vishwas Pandhare said, "During the past one year, we carried out a detailed survey of the city roads that are witnessing accidents and focussed on those areas that are prone to traffic snarls. As we wanted to find out proper solutions, we checked the length of the road, condition of footpaths, street lights, zebra crossings etc."
He added that it is essential that the civic body take serious action against hawkers who block the way for pedestrians. Unless a special drive is carried out against them across the city, the issue is not going to end."
Madhav Jagtap, head of anti-encroachment department of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), said, "We are making a list of the areas that have maximum number of complaints. After compiling the list of the areas, we will be carrying out a special drive against illegal hawkers. Time and again, we have been taking action against them but we have to come up with a permanent solution. Therefore, ward officers of respective areas will have to ensure that there is no illegal encroachment after the drive."
Jagtap said the drive will commence in this month.