PCB’s monsoon preparedness ineffective as city’s first showers flood stormwater drains
The Pune Cantonment board (PCB) has chalked out an ambitious Rs 13 crore stormwater infrastructure development plan to overhaul and revamp the drainage system in the area, with special focus on Wanowrie and Ghorpadi.Updated: Jun 04, 2018 14:55 IST
Improper desilting of stormwater drains resulted in flooding of low-lying areas of Pune Cantonment board (PCB), including arterial and connecting roads, which went under water due to heavy rain on Saturday evening. The road outside Empress Garden was flooded while a number of internal roads had rainwater accumulated over the surface for hours together, making it difficult for the residents to commute and wade their vehicles through the water.
Residents living around Khadda market complained that there was inundation of rainwater into their homes as the stormwater drains did not flush out the large flow of rainwater. “The continuous water logging made commuting difficult for motorists and the situation was alarming and dangerous and could have resulted in accidents ,” said Sanjeev Gaikwad, an area resident.
Netraprakash Bhog, an advocate and a renowned Cantonment-based civic activist, said that rainwater often mixes with drainage water due to improper drainage systems, leading to vehicle congestion and inundation of low-lying localities of the cantonment. This could also cause health-related issues.
“Digital mapping of the area topography must be done and high-grade work must be carried out to keep the cantonment area free from inundation during the monsoon season. Unfortunately, short term measures are undertaken and the problem persists for a long time,” he said.
Vinod Mathurawala, former vice-president of PCB, said that the board had been taking strong steps to put in place a robust stormwater drainage infrastructure in the area and will soon reach a point where all the problems will be sorted out.
Priyanka Shrigiri, vice-president of PCB, said that the board had completed the construction of the stormwater drainage in most of the areas under their jurisdiction. “ We are doing our best to give the best civic service to area residents. If the residents are inconvenienced, then steps will be taken to address their grievances. Cleaning of stormwater drains has always been of priority to the board administration,” she said.
The Pune Cantonment board (PCB) has chalked out an ambitious Rs 13 crore stormwater infrastructure development plan to overhaul and revamp the drainage system in the area, with special focus on Wanowrie and Ghorpadi.
PCB decided to proceed with the project even after the Pune municipal corporation (PMC) did not show any enthusiasm in executing it. The drainage system makeover in Wanowrie and Ghorpadi areas has been pending since 2015 due to topographical issues. The civic society members are also demanding digitisation of all drainage and sanitation related plans and have sought increased engagement of residents in the development of the area.
Cantonment area aiming for fresh, decongested look
The Pune Cantonment area will soon be decongested with the Pune Cantonment board(PCB) allocating special funds for reconstruction of old roads and creating new road infrastructure. A massive anti-encroachment drive is also on the cards.
DK Yadav, chief executive officer, PCB, said that all encroachments in Cantonment area will be removed. He also said that PCB is working closely with the traffic police department for monitoring traffic on Cantonment roads.
“The Cantonment traffic division too will deploy additional traffic police at strategic locations in the Pune cantonment, as part of the decongestion drive,” he added.
The first major decongestion drive will start from Aabaji Maidan opposite Anjuman Khairul Islam’s Poona College of Arts, Science and Commerce. After the encroachments towards the eastern side are removed and a safety wall is constructed, the main connecting road will be expanded.
“The Pune Cantonment board is planning for fresh budgetary allocation for the project and the construction of the road will be completed after that. The area has been suffering from acute traffic snarls for the past few years and we want to decongest the area,” he said.
Anwar Shaikh, principal, Anjuman Khairul Islam’s Poona College of Arts, Science and Commerce said that the college administration has requested PCB and traffic police to streamline vehicular flow. “ We are hopeful that PCB will act soon and decongest the area,” he said.
Netraprakash Bhog, an advocate blamed the Cantonment board’s anti-encroachment and anti illegal structure squad for the traffic congestion in the Cantonment area. “ The board administration has gone from bad to worse. They are lazy and have a lackadaisical approach. There are serious administrative lapses which is aggravating the traffic congestion in the area. Hawkers rule the roost and encroachers operate without any fear of legal action,” he said. The Pune Cantonment board, on the other hand, maintaining that necessary action is being taken to curb the menace.