Pune’s ESR report overlooks the most crucial problem faced by Punekars, the city road traffic!

On 27th July, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) published a report of vital importance; “Environment Status Report (ESR), 2022-23”. And on the 9th of August, Punekars organized the #ChaloPMC protest, demanding better civic facilities. Concerned citizens, both individuals and groups, mohalla committee members and members from civil society organizations took an active part. 

But one question that arises is this; are citizens well-informed about the latest developments, policies, and initiatives related to environmental conservation? The answer to this becomes crucial, as informed citizens are better equipped to contribute meaningfully to the cause they are passionate about. In today's world, where the impact of human activities on the environment is becoming increasingly evident, there is a growing community of concerned citizens who strive to make a positive difference. But the lack of knowledge and awareness in policy developments can hinder the effectiveness of the movement and limit the impact it can make. This article addresses one such gap in knowledge and strengthens the position of concerned citizens, by reviewing the annual Environment Status Report (ESR), 2022-23 of Pune.

Evaluation of Free Bicycle Schemes and Their Impact: A Focus on Pune's Initiatives

 The concept of free bicycle schemes often evokes images of eco-friendly and sustainable transportation initiatives. However, these schemes go beyond merely promoting low-carbon mobility; they are powerful tools aimed at enhancing education and mobility freedom for the nation's youth. At the heart of these initiatives lies the crucial combination of fundamental education and improved mobility options.

The distribution of free bicycles is strategically designed to tackle a pressing issue plaguing the educational landscape - the significant dropout rates observed after primary education, particularly among girls in rural areas. These schemes work  to incentivize students, especially young girls, to pursue secondary school education with renewed enthusiasm and determination.

PMPML on a suicidal path

During the past few months not only have such half-baked ideas failed – and continued to give bus based public transport a bad name but also cemented it as a “loss making” venture deserving no priority or nurturing – even though PMPML is the backbone of Public Transport in the city with over 10 lakh passenger trips. The much-hyped Metro Rail with an investment of Rs. 11,522 crores for the first two corridors (PCMC to Swar Gate/Katraj and Vanaz to Ramwadi) gets royal treatment with no questions asked although its DPR promises ridership of mere 7.5 lakhs per day when the corridors are up and running by 2031 or later. Whether it is the selection of routes, inconvenience to other modes like buses, cycles or walking, damage to the environment from features like pillars in the riverbed or damage to the skyline, the Metro is given a free hand.

India - where traffic rules violation is the norm

If Las Vegas is for gambling, New York city is for skyscrapers and Tirupati is for ladoos then India is definitely for traffic violations.
If you don't believe it, just stand on the road for a minute and see how many vehicle riders flout traffic rules. By and large the lack of discipline among drivers is attributed to road crashes. If someone tells you about any road crash or a pedestrian getting killed or injured on the road, the first thing that comes to our mind is that the driver must have broken the rules, or the pedestrian must have been jaywalking.