Ranjit Gadgil interviewed by Sanskriti Menon

Sanskriti Menon, Senior Programme Coordinator of the Centre for Environment Education in Pune interviewed Ranjit Gadgil recently about ‘Education for Sustainable Mobility’. Ranjit was actively associated with Parisar until recently and continues to be a well-wisher. In this interview, Ranjit expressed his views about sustainable mobility, the role of education in bringing about the necessary changes in society to move towards sustainable transportation systems etc.  This interview was published in the autumn 2009 issue of ‘Education and Sustainability’ available at www.es-online.info. Read further for the full interview.

Divergence between Central policies and implementation at ULBs

Parisar, along with about 10 other NGOs and individuals have recently written to the Secretary Ubran Development Department, Govt of India, New Delhi, expressing their serious concerns at the prevailing policies driving Traffic and Transportation Policies in the city. They feel that there is a serious divergence in policies formulated by the Central Government to make a positive impact on condition of urban transportation, and the actual implementation of traffic projects in the cities by urban local bodies ie municipal corporations.

Chaos in JM/FC road one way trials

The worst fears of civic activists have come true. The one-way street "experiment" on Jangli Maharaj road and Fergusson college road started off without the basic infrastructure for pedestrian and cycle safety, and slowing down of motorized traffic. Inevitably, it led to its first casualty on Saturday, 5th November, when a six-year old boy lost his life to a speeding bus.This was in spite of many citizen's groups meeting with city officials and arriving at a plan that provided for pedestrian, cyclist safety, reduced inconvenience to bus passengers and controlled vehicle speeds on these corridors more than six months before the so-called experiment.

Parisar reaction to the proposed GEF project

Pune plans to execute a project providing improving bicycle connectivity to the proposed BRT corridors in the city. This project is funded by the UNDP-GEF and World Bank. Parisar reviewed the project report and presented its comments to the PMC authorities. In addition, Parisar also participated in discussions with PMC along with a cycle-inclusive planning expert from I-CE, Mr. Jeroen Buis, about oversight and monitoring of the project. Broadly, while Parisar whole-heartedly supports the idea of improved bicycle connectivity to the BRT corridors, it has some concerns about the project proposal and its monitoring.

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