Travel time mounts as flyover construction at Chandani chowk, SPPU junction slows traffic

Flyover construction at two busy spots has left commuters at the mercy of the traffic situation. Commuters heading towards Wakad and Rajiv Gandhi IT park at HINjewadi said that the flyover construction at Chandani chowk and Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) junction has increased their travel time by at least three times because of vehicular traffic.

A study by Pune traffic branch covering SPPU junction found that 0.281 million vehicles passed through the busy intersection on a daily basis during April this year.

Rahul Srirame, deputy commissioner of police (traffic), said, “Civic infrastructure works at Chandani chowk and other areas have affected traffic flow. Commuters flouting lane discipline also causes overcrowding at these busy areas.”

Earlier this year, Pune police along with PMC made changes in traffic at SPPU road to ease traffic. However, heavy rains, waterlogging and potholes have slowed down traffic.

Many IT employees coming from eastern parts of Pune use Baner road to reach Hinjewadi IT park. Those staying in southern and western parts of Pune like Katraj, Kondhwa, Warje, Bavdhan and Kothrud prefer to use Chandani Chowk and Dehu road bypass to reach Hinjewadi.

Sudeep Chimanpure, staying at Bavdhan and working with an IT firm at Hinjewadi said, “Authorities have closed all roads leading to Bavdhan from the highway. We need to either use the service road from HEMRL or travel from Chandani chowk. We face traffic jams daily on these stretches.”

While the flyover work at Chandani chowk gathered pace last year, it has slowed down again. The multilevel flyover, which is 50 percent ready, is being jointly constructed by Pune Municipal Corporation and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

At SPPU junction, Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) has undertaken work of third Metro line and the proposed flyover is part of the project. Monsoon has delayed the work which is still at a preliminary stage.

Another IT employee Sachin Kane who stays at Sahakarnagar area said, “We have offline duty at least twice in a week. Before the Covid pandemic, we used to reach Hinjewadi in an hour. Now, rains, Metro work and poor roads have slowed down vehicular movement and the travel time sometimes gets stretched to three hours.”

Road widening and flyover work are underway between Navale bridge and Katraj chowk by NHAI. Started in 2019, the road widening work is progressing at a snail’s pace and flyover work at Katraj junction has just begun.

Some of the IT workers living at NIBM, Katraj, Ambegaon and other areas use the Navale bridge to Katraj road to reach HINjewadi.

Kapil Patil staying at Magarpatta City said, “Our office in Hinjewadi has resumed offline duty. To avoid heavy traffic, I have tried many alternative roads, but every stretch is busy and some work is underway. I am forced to leave the office early morning or at lunch time and return by 9 pm to avoid traffic jams.”

Another techie Sheetal Deore said, “Due to rainy season, almost seventy percent people travel by car and it adds to traffic jams.”

Save Pune Traffic Movement’s Harshad Abhyankar said, “Any development work will affect traffic, but will ease vehicle movement when it is completed. Authorities must put in place traffic management plans to ensure smooth flow of vehicles. We do not even have any mechanism to alert commuters that traffic will be hit due to development works.”

Longer commute

0.5 million: Workforce employed in HInjewadi and nearby areas

80 per cent: Employed in the IT sector

350: IT firms have offices in HInjewadi IT park

Commuters from Kothrud, Bavdhan, Warje, Sinhgad road, Katraj and Kondhwa use Chandani chowk to reach Hinjewadi

Commuters from Shivajinagar, Ahmednagar road, Yerawada, Hadapsar, Kharadi use SPPU junction to reach Hinjewadi

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