Amit Paranjape’s Blog

“Where are we to walk” – a great documentary about pedestrians in Pune

Posted in Current Affairs, Pune by Amit Paranjape on June 17, 2010
The rains are looking good this year. That’s great news for farmers and the increasingly water starved citizens of Pune. However for pedestrians and motorists, it’s a different story all together. With the onset of monsoon, the regular and ‘routine’ chaos increases many times over. Just a few days back, there was this tragic story about a person who lost his life after falling into the open cover of a water drain.
Often the pedestrians debate centers around the fact that we have too many vehicles. That is part of the problem(and a topic for a separate discussion around mass-transit, etc.) – but not the only issue. The big issue in my opinion, is the lack of basic planning and execution in the civic infrastructure. We see far too many footpaths, pedestrian walkways and crossings that are not well designed, partially built, encroached upon, broken up, etc.
Parisar Pune, I-CE, Alliance For Global Education and Janwani  helped create a great documentary (Here is some more background about this effort from about the state of the pedestrians in Pune. It captures the status and issues extremely well. The film was conceptualized and and shot by Susan Michet, an American Student, in May 2009. Here is the link to this documentary:

[Related blog: Groups/Initiatives/NGOs working for a sustainable Pune traffic management ]


4 Responses

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  1. Prasad said, on June 17, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    This applies equally well to Bangalore and I guess to any other growing Indian city.

  2. Nikhil Kadadi said, on June 18, 2010 at 9:06 am

    sorry if i sound negative here, but isn’t this a video of what we already know, its a good video for people who are new to Pune. I was hoping for a video which probably tells us possible steps for solutions, than stating the problem again.

  3. Jayesh said, on June 18, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Who pays the cost of efficient roads and amazing auto engines? It is not only in Pune but everywhere – the pedestrians. The cost is paid by way of not crossing roads to meet next door friend or just staying at home. – This is a therory in economics and not just a statement of agony.
    This problem in Pune is here to stay and there is no quick resolution.
    A few might have seen Mumbai-Pune Highway passing through Chinchwad, they have kept highway under the level of normal road. This keeps local movement unaffected (no inconvenient overbridge or underbridge) and highway movement swift. This is one solution specific to highways passing through residentail area or market place.

  4. Jaideep Deodhar said, on June 18, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    trouble is, the people in power never walk. They buy votes once in 5 years, and make merry for the rest of the 4 years + 364 days. then they get cars with yellow / red beacon lights. And if the distance is more than 10 KMs, they use a helicoptor.

    trouble is, the people in power have no interest in solving basic issues. If basic issues are solved, then people will expect something more. so its best to promise free housing, free water, free ration, free education, free healthcare, free temple, etc…. while knowing fully well that they do not intend to do any such thing.

    trouble is, people in power never take a bus. PMPML service is enough to make the most die-hard green turn to an SUV. So we have 1.6 million two wheelers in a city of 4 million people. The people who do use a bus are just waiting for the day they can afford a 2-wheeler.

    The state of the footpaths is there to be seen. You don’t need a retired magistrate to hold an enquiry commision on the state of affairs. Then the powers that be will claim to “review” the civic work, and make a statement to the press than 90% work is complete. But the balance 10% consists of garbage dumps at every 10 feet, which pedestrian will walk on such a footpath?

    But life is not all that bad. look at all the colourful banners celabrating birthdays of anyone and everyone. hardick shubbechha. let us thank all the samajik karyakarte who’s photos are available on each of these banners. Without these samajik karyakarte, shahar upadhyakshas, zilla pramukhs, karya-samrat, yuva hruday-samrat leaders, we would be nowhere.

    So instead of demanding footpaths, lets bow before our new Gods, and give them hardeek shubbechha, koti koti pranam, manacha muzara….etc etc etc

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