Chandni chowk: Wardens deployed, separate division formed to regulate traffic

Published on Aug 29, 2022 11:09 PM IST

A day after chief minister Eknath Shinde’s visit to Chandni chowk, wardens were deployed to regulate the traffic, leading to a partial improvement in the situation during peak hours

A traffic warden ensures smooth traffic flow at Chandni chowk on Monday. (Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO)
A traffic warden ensures smooth traffic flow at Chandni chowk on Monday. (Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO)

A day after chief minister Eknath Shinde’s visit to Chandni chowk, wardens were deployed to regulate the traffic, leading to a partial improvement in the situation during peak hours. Monday evening, more than 50 traffic wardens were deployed at various spots around Chandni chowk to monitor the flow of traffic especially heavy vehicles during peak hours. Heavy vehicles were prevented from entering the city at entry and exit points along Katraj-Dehu highway during the day, leading to further improvement in the traffic situation. At the same time, the Pimpri-Chinchwad police constituted a separate traffic division to monitor the traffic at Chandni chowk.

Anand Bhoite, deputy commissioner of police (traffic), Pimpri-Chinchwad police, said, “Under the Hinjewadi traffic division, we have formed an independent traffic division on a temporary basis from Bitwiz company to Chandni chowk via Bavdhan-Sus road to ease the congestion. In a bid to decongest daily traffic, two officers along with 20 policemen and 50 traffic wardens will be deployed on this stretch.”

On Friday evening, the CM’s convoy was stuck in traffic at Chandni chowk while he was travelling to Satara. Some of the locals who saw Shinde stuck in traffic approached him and told him that this was a daily problem due to the ongoing road work. They told the CM that nearly two to three hours were wasted daily in traffic snarls at Chandni chowk used by around six lakh people, most of them going towards Hinjewadi IT park and Mumbai. Thereafter, a meeting was held by minister Chandrakant Patil on Sunday, and the Pune district collector along with other concerned officials visited the area on Sunday to review the traffic situation. Accordingly, the old bridge at the chowk will now be demolished between 12 and 15, and preparations for the same have started.

All concerned authorities - right from the Pune district administration, Pune city police, Pimpri-Chinchwad police and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) - have started preparations for demolition of the old bridge at the chowk. Officials from the water supply and other departments visited the place to inspect the utility supply lines that will need to be removed before September 10 in order to carry out the demolition work between September 12 and 15.

However, experts are unsure whether demolition of the bridge will offer any respite in terms of traffic congestion. “The entire project to demolish the old bridge - its planning, execution and most importantly, whether the real problem of traffic congestion will be resolved permanently after the bridge is demolished – is being carried out by the engineering department. Our chief minister is not an expert or engineer in this case, and he can listen to the issues of the public and accordingly instruct the necessary government authorities to resolve them on priority. Once the bridge is demolished and traffic snarls continue, government officials will not look into it,” said Sanjay Shitole, a transport activist and member of the PMP Pravasi Manch.

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