Pune Floods Prompt PMC To Remove Illegal Fibre Optic Cables From Ducts

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Pune, 11th June 2024: In response to severe flooding caused by heavy rainfall, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has aggressively removed unauthorized optical fibre cables laid by Internet service providers (ISPs) through stormwater lines on Sinhagad Road and other parts of the city. The flooding, which followed a rainfall of approximately 117 mm on Saturday, was exacerbated by clogged drainage systems.

PMC officials discovered that these cables were obstructing stormwater lines, causing significant waterlogging, especially on Sinhagad Road. Unauthorized constructions on nullah were also found to be hindering proper water drainage. Key areas affected by the waterlogging included Sinhagad Road, Karve Road, Pune University Road, Vishrantwadi, Dhanori, Kalas, parts of Vadgaon Sheri, Pune station, and Bundgarden Road.

In response to mounting criticism from citizens, officials from various PMC departments, along with the Pune traffic police, visited the affected sites to assess the situation. During their inspections, they found that a contractor for an Internet provider company had placed optical fibre cables in the stormwater drains at multiple locations, including PL Deshpande Garden, Patil Hospital, and Brahma Hotel in the Manikbaug area. These cables were promptly cut to restore proper water flow.

Further inspections revealed that the national highway authorities had placed a duct between Vadgaon bridge and Warje bridge but had not maintained it, leading to additional blockages. The PMC took action to clean this duct.

Unauthorized constructions and encroachments were also found to be narrowing the width of nalas in areas like Dhanori, Ambegaon, Dhankawadi, and Vadgaon Sheri, contributing to waterlogging. The PMC’s drainage department has requested the building permission and construction departments to clear these encroachments.

The construction of Pune Metro Line 3 on Ganeshkhind Road also contributed to the flooding. The PMC has instructed PMRDA metro officials to replace cement stormwater chambers with iron ones, which drain water faster. Additionally, the PMC has initiated actions against contractors who buried stormwater drain chambers during road resurfacing projects, further exacerbating the waterlogging issues.

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Sahebrao Dandge, superintending engineer of the road department, confirmed that all road department officials have been instructed to cut any optical fibre cables found in stormwater drains and to take appropriate action against violators.