Sakal’s one-sided presentation of the Metro debate and Democratic Processes

The Metro proposal for Pune has been mired in controversy from the very beginning. The DMRC Report is not only found wanting on many issues, but even the case for a Metro has not been made. (Parisar has sent a letter to the Urban Development Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra to this effect) This has, not surprisingly, led to various citizen groups (under the banner of Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyan, PMJA) taking up the issue and essentially saying – we need answers to questions before the Metro proposal is approved by the General Body of the PMC.

Parisar position on Pune's metro proposal

Pune's proposal for a metro has been in the news lately as various citizen's groups have raised questions and voiced objections about the way there has been an attempt to push the proposal through without a public debate. A broad-based citizens' coalition called Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyan (PMJA) has been formed that is leading the campaign against the currently proposed metro.While Parisar agrees with all the questions raised by PMJA, it believes there are more fundamental questions that remain unanswered.

Pedestrian Blues

Walking on the roads in any Indian city is an unpleasant business. Dodging traffic, sidestepping puddles of water, ducking under sign boards, navigating around heaps of construction material always conveniently dumped on footpaths - a pedestrian is faced with an unending series of obstacles. Most of these are because of the sheer apathy towards a walker by the public authorities, somehow you're just not important enough to be provided a nice walkable pathway.

The "walkmobile" approach to understanding transport

The “walkmobile” was invented by Hermann Knoflacher, Professor at the Institute of Transportation at Vienna University of Technology. It is a simple frame made of wood and has the size of a car. A belt makes it easy to walk around with this frame. The idea of the “walkmobile” is to show how much space a car needs and how much city space we are willing to cut from public space and give it away to the group of car drivers. This results in streets where the whole width is reserved for cars and motorbikes, leaving almost no space to pedestrians - as seen on many streets in Pune. If all the pedestrians would walk around with a “walkmobile” occupying the same space as a car, our footpaths will be very fast as congested as streets are today.

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