The first heavy spell of monsoon showers threw traffic out of gear in many parts of Pune on Thursday, as gridlocks and incidents of tree collapse were reported across the city. To add to commuters’ woes, traffic police had imposed restrictions on some roads to facilitate the movement of VIPs, such as Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who were in the city to attend an event.
As per data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Pune received 55 mm of rain between 3 pm and 5.30 pm on Thursday.
A K Srivastava, head of the Climate Monitoring and Analysis Group of the IMD, said, “The rainfall received on Thursday in Pune were the first heavy showers of the monsoon this season. The rains are expected to continue for the rest of the week but the intensity may vary.”
There were reports of tree collapse in Mangalwar Peth, Prabhat Road, Baner, Karishma Chowk, Bhavani Peth, Koregaon Park, Aundh and Pimpri. “No injuries or damage to the property were reported… at some places, it did lead to traffic jams,” said an official from the Fire Brigade control room.
“Because of the movement of VIPs, including the Vice-President, chief minister and other political leaders, there were some temporary restrictions on traffic flow at some places. This, along with malfunctioning traffic signals and slowing vehicles, worsened the traffic snarls caused by waterlogging. Some of the arterial roads in the city witnessed slow traffic in the afternoon and evening. Staff from local police station and the traffic control branch were deployed on the roads to tackle the situation,” said a traffic police officer.