Pune, 2nd January 2023: The Peth areas of the city as well as Shivajinagar, Ganeshkhind Road, Swargate, and Nehru Road, witnessed a significant slowdown in traffic throughout Monday due to a surge in devotees flocking to the Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati temple and Shaniwarwada on the first day of the New Year.
Commuters faced frustration as long queues of vehicles congested key arteries such as Shivaji Road, Bajirao Road, Ganeshkhind Road, Congress Bhavan Road (near PMC main building), Kelkar Road, Veer Santaji Ghorpade Road, and Shahir Amar Shaikh chowk near Juna Bazaar.
A senior traffic police official explained, “To manage the flow of vehicles in the old parts of the city, we restricted vehicular movement towards Shaniwarwada from SG Barve Chowk on JM Road in the afternoon. Additional road closures were implemented at Pavale Chowk, Phadke Houd Chowk, and Mandai Junction on Bajirao Road.”
The Pune traffic police had pre-emptively announced on December 28 that a section of Shivaji Road, spanning Gadgil Statue Chowk to Mandai, would be closed to facilitate the movement of devotees towards the Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati temple. Consequently, traffic diversions were enacted.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Vijay Magar commented, “A large influx of visitors and devotees descended upon the temple and Shaniwarwada. They parked their vehicles haphazardly on various city roads, narrowing the lanes and causing traffic jams.”
He added, “To address the situation, we deployed police teams strategically, collaborating with local police stations to regulate vehicular movement. Normalcy was restored around 7:30 pm.”