To tackle traffic congestion, the Traffic Department of Pimpri Chinchwad has permanently imposed a one-way vehicular traffic movement from Shivaji Chowk, located at the entry point of Rajiv Gandhi Info Tech park, in Hinjawadi. The final order was issued on Monday following a two-month trial that started in September this year. During this period the department reviewed suggestions that it had received from commuters and IT companies.
“Commuting to office has become so smooth now. The traffic does not come to a standstill,” said Avadesh Patel, an IT employee and resident of Wakad.
Unplanned road management coupled with collective negligence of all stakeholders — gram panchayat, IT companies and traffic police — for over 15 years had resulted in serious traffic woes, plaguing one of the state’s largest IT parks. During peak office hours, both in the morning and evening, covering a distance of 5 km used to take over two hours. With the IT park expanding into four phases since early 2000, and many residential societies mushrooming in the neighbourhood, the problem aggravated. After the Pimpri Chinchwad police commissionerate was constituted in August, traffic in Hinjawadi became one of the pressing issues.
“Traffic regulation has been implemented and is getting good support from the IT companies. Travelling time has reduced substantially,” said Kishore Mhaswade, Senior Police Inspector, with Hinjawadi police station.
Poor frequency of PMPML buses and with no other alternative of public transport service to reach the IT park, the ordeal faced by techies was even taken up at various government platforms, but remained unresolved. But within less than three months of first mooting the idea of one-way traffic, commuting to office has become easy for over 3 lakh employees in at least one lakh private vehicles.
As per the permanent regulations, all vehicles coming from Pune (via Aundh), Wakad, Pimple Saudagar, Sangvi reaching Shivaji Chowk will compulsorily take a left turn to enter the IT Park. Those reaching from Bhumkar Chowk, after crossing the signal at Shivaji Chowk, can reach their destinations in phase-I or travel beyond. These vehicles have been barred from taking a right.
The Traffic Department has plugged all gaps along the road dividers in phase-I and those located along this additional 3-km one-way stretch. Signboards informing of this rotary one-way traffic have been placed. To facilitate U-turn for vehicles, two new punctures along the Wakad road divider — one outside Shell Petrol pump and another Jambhulkar gym — have been opened.
This means, vehicles heading towards phase-II and phase-III will have to pass the Wipro Circle and Geometric Circle to proceed ahead.
Similarly, the new arrangement has also restricted vehicles entering the IT park from Maan village from taking a right turn at Shivaji Chowk. All vehicles will instead cross the signal, take a U-turn to return to this chowk. Right turn is no longer allowed from the junction outside Mezza 9 and vehicles will need to reach Shivaji chowk for proceeding further.
Those vehicles coming from phase-II and phase-III will not be able to turn right at the Geometric Circle but instead will have to follow the one-way upon reaching Shivaji Chowk.