THE experiment of converting a busy stretch of road into a “one-way route” was dropped after a bumpy start as road users were left confused due to lack of noticeable signages and long detours in the new plan. The plan had its effect on vehicular traffic on the canal road which slowed down considerably. Ashok Morale, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), earlier in the day said that the results of the day one were as expected and that the traffic division will take a few more steps to ease the situation and to clear out the glitches.
However, later in the evening, he said that it was an experiment which was being dropped after the people’s response. “The situation was good at Nal Stop, Athavale Chowk as well as on Canal Road. A bottleneck had happened at the SNDT chowk and on Naravane Path. The slow moving traffic on the road actually got people worked up. We will work on the SNDT bottleneck by timing the traffic lights in the previous junction properly,” said Morale.
He said the situation will be monitored continuously and studied to see the impact of the new plan. He also conceded that there was need to put up more banners informing the road users about the change of traffic plan. Sushant Jadhav, a businessman, said that the plan had good intentions, but would need a better planning. “I see that what they are trying is to eliminate the busy signals that get chocked easily. I think they should have foreseen the impact the new plan would have and planned in a better way,” said Jadhav. Angad Sathe, a rickshaw driver, too didn’t seem very hopeful about the workability of the plan. “People will get fed up. They don’t like to take detours. So long as policemen are guarding the squares, people will follow. Later, it will return to normal,” said Sathe, who was waiting to pick up passengers at the entrance of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).
As per the new plan, the stretch of Karve Road between Nal Stop Junction to SNDT Junction will be closed for two way and only vehicles heading towards Kothrud from Deccan will be allowed to take the route. Vehicles heading towards Deccan from Paud Road have to turn left at SNDT junction and proceed along Canal Road which is one way. Later, one has to turn right at Athavale Chowk and proceed to Nal stop along Law college road which is one-way in this direction The situation was worsened by the heavy rains the city received in the afternoon. The heavy ‘after-rains traffic’ slowed down the traffic further on the SNDT-Athavale Square stretch.
Union minister gets a taste of Pune’s traffic Union Minister of Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, who was to deliver a talk on “It’s India’s Turn Now” at an event in Pune, got delayed by over 90 minutes. The organisers of the event – Pune International Centre – and the minister himself blamed the delay on Pune traffic as well as a minor accident his car suffered while heading towards the venue. “I came here accompanied by the monsoon. And I also came across traffic jam….was stuck for quite a bit of time; also met with a minor accident. My car was rear-ended by another vehicle. Thankfully, nothing happened,” said Sinha.
He then went on to say that he doesn’t consider traffic as a problem. “I’m glad Pune is heading the Bangalore way. This degree of traffic means that you are doing something right. You are paying a price of success. This means there’s growth hence people are buying vehicles,” said Sinha. Police confirmed that Sinha’s car met with a minor accident. Senior inspector Dayanand Dhome, in-charge of Chatuhshrungi police station, said, “One car hit a car from minister’s convoy from behind at Range Hills corner. That car then went on to hit the minister’s car from behind. Both minister’s car and the car behind him have suffered damages. The person whose car led to the accident has been detained at the police station. No one was hurt.”