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Traffic chaos a given in higher FSI areas in Pune


The new Development Control rules that promise more Floor Space Index (FSI) for construction in the core city areas seem like a boon for developers and home buyers, but may worsen traffic.

The vertical growth in these areas will add to the vehicle population which may cause traffic problems. The development control rules have backed unprecedented construction here, but the development plan has restricted road expansion in these very areas. Consequently, there will be a mismatch between the number of vehicles and road width, leading to traffic jams.

The BJP-led state government last January 19 facilitated the dream of many citizens to own a home in the city by granting more Floor Space Index (FSI) in the Development Control (DC) rules for Pune.

Some localities, like the transit-oriented development (ToD) zones along the Pune metro corridor and the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS), that are high population density areas will now have an FSI of up to 4. FSI is the ratio of the total floor area of a building to the size of a plot and limits the maximum construction. It defines the height and size of the buildings.

"Densification in core city areas will have a massive adverse effect on these areas. Planning should have been done properly while applying densification rules in the DP and the DC rules. The metro corridor area especially those in the core areas already have high density. More FSI may lead to higher density," Prashant Inamdar, founder of Pedestrians’ First, a citizens’ organization, said.

Communing will be tough and more population density will lead to more vehicular population, and the lack of parking will add to the problems and walking will be tough on these roads, he added.

A state government-appointed committee's revised draft DP for mid-city area had proposed widening of roads including FC Road, Laxmi Road, JM Road, Senapati Bapat Road and Karve Road, citing the "terrible" traffic problem and ineffective public transport, and thus the need for comprehensive traffic and transport provisions.

It had insisted on road widening in the Peth areas, even as it acknowledged that properties would be affected. But the state government’s final draft published in the first week of January has ruled out the possibility, creating obstacles to widening the roads in the old city areas.

BJP’s elected members from these areas admitted that the development will cause some concern to the core areas. "The development of these areas is a given. We agree that issues like traffic will cause concern. But steps like increasing public transport and restricting private vehicles will be taken to deal with it," BJP corporator Mukta Tilak said.

According the civic officials, the high FSI will help provide more houses in the city. More small flats will come up because of various FSI proposals, including premium FSI, for the transit corridor. It will control realty prices in the city.

"In the next 20 years, the city will need about six lakh houses of which three lakh will accommodate slum dwellers while the rest will be required for non-slum population," city engineer Prashant Waghmare, had said while speaking to reporters recently.

Mismanaged traffic is a major problem in the city and more densification will add to the worries. Until September-end 2016, 31.97 lakh vehicles had been registered, of which 23.97 lakh were two-wheelers and 5.65 lakh were cars.


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