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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

Monsoon in Pune: Battery operated traffic signals at RTO, SPPU in 2 days, say officials

Several areas continued to face traffic chaos as traffic signals at squares like RTO, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Balgandharva, Maldhakka chowk. Pune has 240 traffic signals, none of which have a power backup

pune Updated: Jun 29, 2019 15:40 IST
Prachi Bari
Prachi Bari
Hindustan Times, Pune
Several areas continued to face chaos due to non-functional traffic signals. (In picture) Traffic congestion at Pimpri to Chinchwad link road on Friday.
Several areas continued to face chaos due to non-functional traffic signals. (In picture) Traffic congestion at Pimpri to Chinchwad link road on Friday.(HT/PHOTO)
         

Shrinivas Kandul, head of electrical department, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) said that lithium potassium battery pack will be fitted on the traffic signals at the regional transport office and university chowk in two days.

Rains continued to batter the city on Friday. Several areas continued to face traffic chaos as traffic signals at squares like RTO, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Balgandharva, Maldhakka chowk among others had stopped working. Pune has 240 traffic signals, none of which have a power backup.

Kandul confirmed the demand from the traffic police and said that they are working on alternatives for keeping the traffic signals working during rains.

“We have identified important chowks like Pune university, RTO and Maldhakka where we can fit lithium potassium battery packs which is small in size and can be fitted to the signal unit so that if the electrical supply is off, this can work for an hour to control the traffic,” he said.

“We will fix these batteries within two days at RTO and University chowks,” said Kandul.

“PMC is also looking at an alternative source for providing electrical supply to traffic signals by using the backup generator supply in various PMC owned properties,” he said.

According to deputy commissioner of police traffic Pankaj Deshmukh, “The traffic signals are a great asset to the department, but we are dependent on Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) and PMC.”

“During rains, we have power outages and intermittent power failures which add to the short circuit of the signals.”

“The traffic would be managed better if we have an uninterrupted power supply,” said Deshmukh.

Heavy rain warning issued

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) recorded 159.3 mm rainfall in the city from 8.30 am till 5.30 pm on Friday. Heavy rainfall is forecast till June 29. Anupam Kashyapi, head of weather at IMD, said, “IMD has issued heavy rain warning for the next 24 hours. 64.5 mm rain is expected. June quota of rainfall has already been crossed with 22.6 mm surplus rain. State is likely to get good rainfall between June 30 and July 5.”

Konkan has been issued heavy to very heavy rain warning for the next five days. There will be widespread rain in central Maharashtra, especially eastern part, as well as northern part of the state with June 29 forecast of heavy rain warning, said a weather department official.

“June 28, 29, 30 and July 1 will see light rain in Vidharbha with July 2 being issued a heavy to very heavy rain warning. The reason for this is due to formation of monsoon low which is likely to form over North Bay of Bengal around June 30 which is likely to become initially well marked low in 24 hours followed by depression in 48 hours, hence from July 2 warning will be issued for parts of Vidharbha,” said Kashyapi.

Scientific approach needed to save water, says expert

Experts shared their analysis of the current situation of rainwater harvesting in the city at a session organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at Thermax house on Friday.

Shashank Deshpande, senior geologist and former official of groundwater surveys and development agency, pointed out the alarming situation that the city is facing on the water conservation front.

Deshpande highlighted the need to develop a scientific approach towards saving water. He said, “The measures that we must focus on are tapping rainwater, rooftop rainwater storage and rainwater recharge in a natural or artificial manner.”

Deshpande said, “The focus laid on saving trees should be extended to saving water as well. Users of surface water and groundwater should display wisdom in their actions. We must understand that rainfall is the only source of water for us and we must preserve it and use it judiciously.”

Vinay Kelkar, lead, corporate sustainability, Praj Industry Ltd, said, “Water shortage is amongst the top three issues that the city has to deal with other than solid waste management and traffic. A lot has been spoken about creating awareness about rainwater harvesting, however, now we have to focus on what needs to be done after that.”

“At least 150 housing societies in the city have successfully implemented the rainwater harvesting model and are enjoying the benefits of it which others need to follow, said Kelkar.

First Published: Jun 29, 2019 15:40 IST

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