Nashik: The much-touted smart road apparently lacks smart planning, as the construction work has plunged the motorists and pedestrians into severe inconvenience.
The officials, of Smart City company and Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC), did not plan to provide an alternate route to the schools, district court, collectorate, hospitals, residential complexes and business establishments on the 1.1 km stretch. Consequently, the residents, school students and commuters are at the receiving end.
Nashik has been selected in the second round of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious Smart Cities Mission. Soon after the selection in 2016, the NMC prepared a Rs 2,194 crore plan through CRISIL for the Smart City Mission.
Interestingly, most of the projects proposed under the mission are still in the pipeline. Yet the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the NMC has been boasting of transforming Nashik into a Smart City by 2019.
has undertaken this stretch from Ashok stambh to Trimbak naka for smart road development. The Nashik Municipal Smart City Development Corporation Limited (NMSCDCL) CEO Prakash Thavil had announced before undertaking the work that a perfect plan has been chalked down by the company and the NMC.
The construction work of the road will be carried out within the 1.1 km stretch between Ashokstambh to Modak Signal (Trimbak Naka) in a single phase. The construction work of the smart road is expected to be completed within six months.
Administration and MSCDCL had not made any planning about providing alternate access to the students of three schools which fall on the route passing through this stretch.
Out of the three schools which have been affected, Bal Vidya Prasarak Mandal’s (BVPM’s) Adarsh School and DD Bytco Boys and Girls School and Junior College, are the worst hit, while the Government Girls High School has a small access through its north gate, which is located few metres away from Meher Signal.
However, the collectorate, State Bank of India’s main branch, NDCC Bank, Bank of India, Vinchurkar Diagnostics, hospitals, government and business establishments are located on either side of the road and thus are the worst affected by the smart road construction work.
The 1.1 km stretch is one of the busiest roads in the heart of the city. Besides, three main traffic junctions including Ashokstambh, Meher Signal and CBS fall on the same route. In case of closure of these junctions, the citizens will have to face a huge inconvenience.
A couple of days ago, the NMC drafted a letter to the police commissionerate and had sought traffic diversion on the road and demanded that the road should be closed for traffic.
But the traffic police suggested the NMC undertake the work in phases and the road would be closed for traffic accordingly.
As soon as the work began the access to the schools located on the road has been blocked. The stretch of road between Ashokstambh to Meher Signal is likely to be closed soon. If this stretch is closed then Parnekarwadi, located opposite Circle Cinema, which houses roughly about 3,000 citizens would be literally marooned as the entire pocket has no other alternate access.
It is learnt that the NMC was informed by the police about the adverse consequences resulting from the simultaneous closure of the entire stretch of the road, however, the NMSCDCL authorities insisted on going ahead with the project work.
Meanwhile, when asked whether the civic administration has made any planning about providing an alternate access route for the citizens, the explanation given by the civic officials was not very clear.
We had informed the NMC
Around a month ago we received a letter from the NMSCDCL and the NMC for closing the 1.1 km stretch between Ashokstambh to Trimbak Naka for traffic as the civic administration had to start the smart road work. But we informed the NMC that the route houses various important government buildings, residential complexes, schools, hospitals and business establishments. As a result, it would not be feasible to simultaneously shut down the entire road for such a long time period. The civic administration replied that, if needed, they will chalk out some alternate route for the school students. However, our job is traffic management, as a result, we decided to close the road in patches and asked the NMC to conduct the work accordingly.
— Dr Ajay Deore, ACP (Traffic), Nashik