Police diverted traffic on the busy stretch from Barve Square to Simla Office resulting in slowing down of traffic on adjoining roads as well.
The jams were huge from morning to the afternoon and eased towards evening. Traffic remained sluggish on nearby roads till late night Friday. The movement of PMPML buses was affected with severe delays and several cancellations.
The ongoing work of the Grade Separator a few metres from the site of the burst pipe at the Barve Square had also narrowed down the busy stretch. PMC officials said the pipeline burst had nothing to do with the grade separator work.
Shivaji Road, Jangli Maharaj Road, Fergusson College Road, Ganeshkhind Road, and Motilal Kennedy Road were choked between 10.30 am and 2 pm. “Vehicular movement on all roads in a radius of 1.5 to 2 km was badly hit, the worst affected being Shivaji Road, Kennedy Road and J M Road,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police Vishwas Pandhare.
As a cascading effect, traffic slowed down considerably on the Pune-Mumbai Highway stretch from Wakdewadi to the College of Engineering, Pune.
Pandhare said traffic police turned off traffic signals on the affected roads and traffic department personnel manually regulated traffic to bring some order. “The pipeline near Shivajinagar Post Office burst on Thursday night resulting in flooding of the road. In the morning the road caved in at several spots forcing us to stop vehicular movement on the stretch and divert traffic to other roads,” said Pandhare adding that the problem was multiplied due to the grade separator work that had narrowed down the otherwise wide road.
An executive engineer with PMC said that work on the grade separator started a month ago and will go on for a year. “The damage to the pipeline took place 3 metre from our work site. We do not have anything to do with the burst pipe,” said the engineer.
Commuters also complained of slow traffic on Juna Bazaar Road, Wellesly Road, Ghole Patil Road, Shirole Road, Apte Road and Santaji Ghorapdi Road.
“ I took a cab from Aurora Tower to Balewadi to visit my sister. The traffic was normal till Juna Bazaar. We had to take a long route via Mangalwar Peth and Bund Garden to reach the University Chowk to bypass the jam. I had to shell out Rs 100 extra,” said Nanda Patil, an interior decorator from Fatima Nagar.
Rutuza Joshi of Prabhat Road said, “I was returning home from Bhosari around 12.30 pm. It took me half-an-hour just to reach Sancheti Chowk from Wakdewadi Mosque.”
Deepak Pardeshi, PMPML spokesperson said the jam also affected movement of buses. “The trips got delayed and some trips had to be cancelled. As directed by the traffic police the PMPML buses were seen taking unusual routes such as Ghole Road, Modern College Roads,” said Pardeshi.