Pune: Restrictions On Dumpers To Decongest Nagar Road In Wagholi; Each Police Chowky Asked To Identify Chronic Traffic Jam Spots

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Sumit Singh & Varad Bhatkhande 

Pune, 19th February 2024: The entire city of Pune is grappling with traffic issues in multiple areas, and Wagholi, in particular, has been facing a prolonged traffic challenge, notably along the Nagar Road stretch. The traffic problem escalates during peak hours due to the significant influx of commuters passing through this location.

Compounding the issue, Wagholi houses numerous stone quarries, leading to the presence of dumpers that traverse through the entirety of Pune City to transport stones for various construction needs. The slow-moving dumpers contribute significantly to traffic congestion problems. Additionally, the rapid development of this area has resulted in a substantial increase in the local population, further exacerbating the traffic situation.

Stone quarry stones are widely used in construction and landscaping due to their durability, strength, aesthetic appeal, and versatility. Natural beauty, environmental considerations, local availability, resistance to weathering, low maintenance, and historical significance make them valuable. Sustainability remains crucial in responsible quarrying practices and material choices.

Pune City Commissioner of Police, Amitesh Kumar, acknowledging the severity of the Wagholi traffic issue stated, “We have already conducted a comprehensive discussion with my officers regarding the Wagholi traffic hotspot. The fundamental parameter I have emphasized is that enforcement should take a backseat; the primary focus should be on decongesting the city and minimizing travel time for commuters.”

“Each police post has been instructed to identify 1 or 2 congestion spots and evaluate the situation by engaging with relevant stakeholders, experts, and consultants to ease traffic congestion. Various measures are being implemented for this purpose, including the imposition of restrictions on dumpers’ movement in the Nagar Road stretch in Wagholi during specific hours. We have issued guidelines to ensure their restricted timing, particularly during peak hours when office-goers and industry workers are commuting”, said CP Amitesh Kumar.

DCP Shashikant Borate of Pune City Traffic Branch told Punekar News, “We need to conduct a survey to determine the destinations of the dumpers. Our focus cannot be solely on Wagholi; we must consider the entire jurisdiction. The issue of dumpers in Wagholi exists, and we are aware of it. Following observations and surveys, we plan to issue orders addressing the matter within the next two days.”

Accordingly, DCP Shashikant Borate from the Pune City Traffic Branch personally engaged with the local community in Wagholi two days ago, actively walking alongside residents to grasp their traffic-related concerns. Taking proactive steps against those violating traffic rules, he suggested collaborative meetings with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and relevant departments to address identified issues.

Nitin Kumar Jain, Director of Wagholi Housing Societies Association, highlighting the inconsistent enforcement of regulations concerning dumper timings, commented, “This decision was also made around 3 to 4 years ago. At that time, we approached Pune Police, and they assured us that dumpers wouldn’t be present during peak hours. However, the enforcement has been inconsistent, as after one to two months, they resume travelling during those hours. Given the presence of stone quarries here, the constant presence of dumpers is quite bothersome. Pune Police must enforce strict measures and sustain this rule for at least a year so that dumper drivers adapt to and comply with this regulation consistently.”

Pune’s significance lies in its role as an educational, IT, industrial, and automotive hub with a rich cultural heritage. Rapid urbanisation, a surge in private vehicles, limited public transportation, infrastructure challenges, industrial concentration, and geographic constraints contribute to escalating traffic congestion. Addressing this issue demands a comprehensive strategy, integrating urban planning, enhanced public transport, and efficient traffic management to ensure sustainable development and alleviate the strain on transportation infrastructure.

CP Amitesh Kumar has outlined additional measures to address traffic issues in Pune. He stated, “Specific decisions have been implemented in areas such as Savitribai Phule Pune University Chowk and Shimla Office area. The primary objective in these zones is to restrict the presence of heavy vehicles during peak hours. We have directed metro and other infrastructure development corporations to relocate barricades, thereby widening roads.”

“A comprehensive assessment of signal timings at each junction is underway with the assistance of experts to improve signal synchronization and enhance traffic regulation. Various aspects are currently under consideration and being put into action through collaboration between other infrastructure agencies, Pune City Police, and Pune City Traffic Branch, all to reduce congestion time. Discussions with experts and traffic planners will guide long-term decisions, and we are exerting our best efforts to minimize travel time, even if only by a slight margin”, said CP Amitesh Kumar.