TWO weeks after the Pimpri-Chinchwad Police introduced rotary one-way traffic at Shivaji Chowk in Hinjawadi, there seems to be a need of some final plug-in measures to be taken up on the ground for smooth vehicular movement.
It has been one of the major interventions by the traffic department of the recently constituted Pimpri-Chinchwad Police, after Police Commissioner R K Padmanabhan personally oversaw the traffic situation, before introducing the trial arrangement earlier this month.
Over three lakh techies commute to Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park in Hinjawadi on a daily basis and the traffic situation in the area is among the worst within the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) limits.
During peak hours, both in the morning and evening, the traffic snarls result in travel time of over two hours to cover a distance of less than 10 km.
While techies have welcomed the move and said that the vehicular movement during the initial days of the trial period has seen significant improvement, they are not sure about its sustainability.
Moreover, several openings along the road dividers, for instance the one outside MIDC Waste Treatment Plant in Phase-I, has been shut. Many such openings have been sealed forcing vehicles to progress in one direction all through Phase-I.
On the downside, newer openings along dividers on the road between Wakad and Shivaji Chowk have emerged slowing down traffic coming from Shivaji or Bhumkar Chowk.
According to the new traffic directions, vehicles coming from Bhumkar Chowk need to cross over the signal at Shivaji Chowk and head straight to Phase-I of Infotech Park. All vehicles coming from Wakad, Pimple Saudagar and Pune city via Wakad Phata will have to compulsorily take a left at Shivaji Chowk to enter Infotech Park.
Vehicles entering through roads near Phase-II and Phase-III will no longer be able to turn right at Shivaji Chowk but instead, will have to head straight down after crossing Shivaji Chowk. Upon taking a U-turn on the Wakad-Shivaji Chowk road, cars will need to return to Shivaji Chowk and travel an additional 3 km to reach their destinations at Infotech Park.
A resident of Wakad, Tarun Shankar would need over an hour to reach his office in Phase-III. The techie said he would prefer to work from home, simply to avoid the traffic while going to office.
“After the one-way was introduced, the travel time has come down to half. I want similar solution-oriented measures to be taken up by the traffic department,” said Shankar, who has been living in Pune for the past three years.
According to Additional Commissioner of Police Satish Patil, the feedback on the latest arrangement has been positive and the traffic department will take final call after September 24. “The time to reach offices in Phase-II or Phase-III has shrunk by 25 to 30 minutes. The arrangement is getting positive response from commuters,” he said.
Despite signboards stating “rotary one-way”, on Sunday, vehicles were seen flouting the directive and plying on both ways. Many drivers, however, were caught unaware about the latest arrangement.
Ravish Mathur, who works with IBM, said: “There is some confusion regarding the exact route to be taken as vehicles are seen doing rounds at the round-about outside Infosys. It would be of great help if there are traffic police personnel to guide people.”
Local shopkeepers and vendors have also said that the arrangement has eased the traffic situation in the otherwise infamous Hinjawdi stretch.
“Due to traffic snarls, our customers would not halt to buy anything and waste time. With the traffic movement picking up pace, customers find time to make some purchases here,” said Ratnabai, a vegetable seller who sits by the road outside KPIT Cummins, about 200 m from Shivaji chowk.