Waterlogged roads, fallen trees bring traffic to a halt

Heavy Shower Throws Life Out Of Gear
The same old story played out on Friday after 45 minutes of hard rain led to inundated roads across the city . Traffic moved in single file to avoid the knee-deep water, some vehicles broke down causing snarls that stretched for kilometres and for hours, and utter confusion prevailed on most roads.Citizens blamed waterlogging and called all the premonsoon work carried out by Pune Municipal Corporation asham and took pot shots at its smart city hopes when less than an hour’s rain could bring the city to a standstill.

Shankarsheth Road approaching Swargate was under one foot water. Vehicles were forced to get one behind the other forming a long queue till the grade separator. At Dias Plot, some youths had opened manholes by lifting the heavy lids with chains or propping them with bricks for water to flow into the drains.

The sudden damage of a patch of road near Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati temple in Budhwar Peth on Friday , added to the misery of commuters and shoppers, already hit by the downpour.

Budhwar Peth residents said the road was badly damaged after the heavy rain, throwing traffic in the core city area completely out of gear.The traffic department and PMC put up barricades over the caved-in portion and diverted traffic.

“Most roads in this area are asphalted. The intensity of the rainfall on Friday was very high. The upper layer of the road was probably damaged causing it to cave in. The civic administration started repairs as soon as the rain stopped,“ Rajendra Raut, head of PMC’s road department, told TOI.

In Aundh area, it started drizzling at 2.15pm and the intensity increased suddenly . People took shelter under the BRTS bus stop at Jagtap Dairy .Down the road, a massive traffic jam started as people with their vehicles took shelter under Jyotiba Phule bridge near Aundh Chest Hospital. Their vehicles were parked on the middle of the road as the side margins were inundated.

“This careless behaviour caused a jam with only one vehicle passing against the normal of four,“ techie Rohit Surve, returning home from his office in Hinjewadi, said. An hour later, the rain eased but the resultant mess caused a huge traffic jam from Rajiv Gandhi bridge to Bremen Chowk and further on to University Road. Sand accumulation on the road’s shoulders created a risky slush for twowheelers and cyclists.

There was chaos on FC Road and the roads leading to it, as water-logging and wrongly parked vehicles created an unprecedented traffic situation.“To top it, there were two-wheeler drivers on the wrong side of the one-way . Common sense is so low that Pune is far from becoming a smart city ,“ Preeti N, who had come to FC Road for shopping, said.

Branches of trees falling on supply lines led to power failure in Padmavati, Bibvewadi and Sahakarnagar areas. Several areas in Deccan Gymkhana experienced a three-hour power cut after two feeders tripped. Supply was restored to all the areas by 8pm.

A fire brigade officer said there were 20-25 incidents of trees falling from across the city. “More trees fell in Aundh, Sahakarnagar and Katraj. Water entered slums on Ganeshkhind Road and another at Gokulnagar Chowk on KatrajKondhwa Road,“ he added.

Tough time for traffic cops

Deputy commissioner of police (traffic) Ashok Morale told TOI that vehicular traffic was disrupted because of heavy rain, waterlogging, breakdown of vehicles and trees falling between 3.30pm and 5pm in various parts of the city.

He said, “Severe waterlogging was reported at the underpass in Khadki on PuneMumbai Highway , Baner Road near Hotel Green Park and near Balewadi phata signal.“

There was a breakdown of PMPML buses and trucks at Patil Estate slums on PuneMumbai Highway , SG Barve Road, National Poultry at Khadki, Vaiduwadi, Wanowrie and Vishrantwadi Chowk. Two cases of tree falling were reported on FC road and Sahakarnagar which affected smooth flow of vehicles.

Source : TOI