AS heavy rains lashed the city, water-logging and slowing down of the traffic flow, combined with the heavy traffic volume on the first day of the week, threw the overall traffic of the city out of gear, especially on the connecting roads to bottlenecks like major traffic junctions and low-lying areas. It started pouring in some parts of the city around noon and within an hour, the entire city was covered by showers.
Deputy commissioner of police (Traffic) Ashok Morale said, “The main reason for traffic problem in many parts of the city was water-logging after rains on Monday afternoon. Also, at five places, the PMPML buses broke down, leading to jams on the connected roads. Our entire staff, including all the senior officers, were on the roads to resolve the snarls across the city. There were some serious issues around Pune station and around Sassoon hospital. The situation was chaotic for about an hour in the afternoon. Later, it was managed.”
Duty officer at traffic control room said that the jams were witnessed across the city between 1 and 4 pm. An officer managing the traffic said, “In several parts of the city, there was water-logging due to heavy rains and it slowed down the traffic. Monday being the first working day of the week anyway sees heavy traffic.” Assistant commissioner of police (Traffic Zone II) D V Patil said, “The passage of traffic from under the railway bridge in front of the RTO became impossible due to the heavy water-logging. This initially slowed traffic. Later, we had to divert the traffic. This did lead to snarls on the connected road. The areas around railway station always see heavy traffic.”
In the evening, as the traffic flow increased again, traffic snarls were witnessed on all the arterial roads of the city, though the extent of the clogging was not as severe as that in the afternoon. Despite the civic administration’s claims of getting most of the drains cleaned before the monsoon, the city witnessed water-logging in various parts, causing inconvenience to commuters. J M Road was among the main roads that witnessed water-logging due to the ongoing reconstruction of wider footpaths on both sides of the road.
At other places, drains got choked up due to the waste getting stuck in the pipeline. There was water-logging on the DP road in Erandwane, Rajaram bridge, near Mhatre bridge, Ujjwal Park in Kondhwa, Yerawada area, Pune-Satara road and Pune-Solapur road. Ganesh Sonune, in-charge of PMC Disaster Management Cell, said that the flood control cell have been set up in each of the 15 ward offices, along with the main control room at civic headquarters.
“The situation was under control on the first day of the monsoon. The civic administration has set up the control room from June 1 and it is operational round the clock,” he said, adding the action plan has been prepared to reduce the response time. Sonune said that the PMC would be forming a WhatsApp group of all the concerned officers of police, PMC and district collectorate to keep everyone in the loop on the situation in the city during monsoon.
M G Shinde, the new chief engineer of Pune zone of Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL), said there was no major power disruption due to the heavy rains. “We are resolving individual complaints. There were a few instances at Wadgaon Sheri where a tree fell down and affected power supply for a short time. However, the power supply has not been majorly affected,” Shinde said. The fire brigade officials said that trees fell off at four places across the city, but the roads were cleared within half an hour.