Breakdowns at Bhumkar Chowk force traffic to crawl into IT Park

It wasn’t that Rohan expected to cruise to work when he left from his apartment in Katraj and rolled the car onto the road towards Hinjewadi at 9am on Friday morning. Nonetheless, he didn’t think he would be at his wits end, stuck in bumper-tobumper traffic for a large part of the journey that finally concluded two-and-a-half hours later.

The Katraj resident was among hundreds of techies, who work in Hinjewadi and had to endure seemingly endless traffic just to get to work.

Whether in private cars, on two-wheelers, or in company-sponsored buses, those travelling to Rajiv Gandhi IT Park in the morning suffered through a long-winding traffic jam near Bhumkar Chowk as well as on the main WakadHinjewadi Road. Breakdown of two vehicles -a private car and a bus near Bhumkar Chowk -increased the commute time for most motorists by 45-60 minutes, upsetting work schedules and, of course, temperaments.

The traffic jam, which started around 10am, finally cleared out a little after noon.The police had to deploy additional staff, including a team of 10 wardens and a senior police inspector, at the spot to clear out the hold-ups.

The worst bottlenecks were on Shivaji Road towards Hinjewadi and from Bhumkar Chowk towards Dange Chowk, where traffic jam extended for several hundred metres. According to those in the area, all other approach roads into the IT Park were al so totally choked, with the situation further hindered by the incessant rain.

Describing the Friday morning drive, Rohan said, “It was one of the worst traffic jams I have faced on my way to work in a long time. All around, I could only see cars and buses, crawling ahead inch by inch. It was impossible to even consider getting out of the jam, turn around, or take a diversion. I turned off the engine of my car for long durations, waiting for other vehicles to crawl ahead while the traffic was at a near standstill. I listened to the radio to pass time. I missed an important call lined up with my client. By the time I reached office I realized it had been cancelled, as some of my other colleagues could also not reach the workplace on time either.“

Another commuter Sudhir Deshmukh, who was heading to Hinjewadi Phase II on Friday morning, added, “While traffic jams are a daily affair, Friday was really bad because the vehicles were simply not moving. In fact, the worst patch was the last 2.3km stretch from Wakad to Hinjewadi. The jam extended all the way on the Pune Mumbai highway .“ Deputy commissioner of police (traffic) Ashok Morale has appealed to Hinjewadibound commuters to consider carpooling, or use bus services. Describing the acute problems faced around the IT Park almost on a daily basis, Morale said, “The quantum of vehicles entering Hinjewadi everyday is very high. This number increases further in the rains, as more people opt to travel by cars. Combined with potholed roads and rain, traffic movement is very slow in the area. We are trying to find solutions to the mess but citizens must also do their bit“.

Source : TOI