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Waterlogging in Wagholi leaves Pune-Ahmednagar highway jammed for 9 hours

The Pune rural control room received 200 distress calls from commuters demanding deployment of traffic constables to remove the logjam.

pune Updated: Jun 10, 2018 14:18 IST
Nadeem Inamdar
Nadeem Inamdar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Lack of proper drainage infrastructure like storm water drains, lead to waterlogging in Wagholi.(HT PHOTO)

Traffic on the busy Pune-Ahmednagar highway was thrown out of gear and commuters, including elected representatives, senior Indian police service (IPS) officers, judges, senior government functionaries and ambulances, were stranded for over nine hours. Traffic congestion began at 4 pm on Friday and ended at 3 am on Saturday, according to Wagholi residents.

The Pune rural control room received 200 distress calls from commuters, demanding deployment of traffic constables to remove the logjam. Moreover, the concurrent power cut for over 12 to 14 hours aggravated the situation. Lack of drainage infrastructure, like stormwater drains, led to heavy waterlogging in Wagholi, resulting in chaos on the national highway.

Members of the Wagholi housing societies association (WHSA), on Saturday, tweeted to the Prime Ministers office, chief ministers office (CMO), and other government officials, reminding them of the mammoth civic infrastructure development work yet to be carried out in Wagholi.

Nitin Kumar Jain, director of Wagholi housing societies association, said, “Waterlogging in the area resulted in a traffic jam that lasted for over six hours. There was chaos and municipal service work to deal with heavy showers was not in place. The entire stretch of road and the residents were left to the mercy of weather gods,” he said.

Sanjeev Kumar Patil, another Wagholi housing societies association director, said, “The current chaos on the highway in Wagholi is a reflection of the failure of the civic governance and shows that the civic authorities had no vision for the residents. We require holistic planning from experts who can bring about a change in the quality of lives of the residents. Experts who just want to earn money in the form of consulting fees, have no concern for the resisdents and the nation. We request the Pune metropolitan region development authority (PMRDA) to come up with solutions which will ensure traffic problems during monsoon are taken care of. Half-hearted and cosmetic measures, as always, show the hollowness of the government authorities and lack of professionalism,” he said.

Imtiaz Jaleel, Aurangabad member of Legislative Assembly (MLA), who was struck for over four hours between Chandannagar and Kharadi, demanded an end to Wagholi’s traffic nightmare. He suggested swift implementation of road widening and a new flyover construction in the area.

“I was stuck for over four hours. My vehicle did not move an inch for three hours as the traffic held up was beyond anyone’s control. There were no policemen and other government staffers concerned at the spot,” Jaleel said.

Kiran Gitte, metropolitan commissioner, said that the PMRDA has floated tenders for improving two traffic squares cum choke points in Wagholi, where encroachments will be demolished and the width of the existing road will be increased. “Traffic congestion will end and Wagholi residents can have smooth and traffic-free travel in the near future,” Gitte added.

First Published: Jun 10, 2018 14:17 IST