Pune Floods: PMC Cuts Unauthorized Optical Fiber Cables Blocking Stormwater Lines

Pune Floods: PMC Cuts Unauthorized Optical Fiber Cables Blocking Stormwater Lines

Pune Floods: PMC Cuts Unauthorized Optical Fiber Cables Blocking Stormwater Lines

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In response to severe flooding caused by heavy rainfall, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has aggressively cut unauthorized optical fibre cables laid by Internet service providers (ISPs) through stormwater lines on Sinhagad Road and other parts of the city. The flooding occurred after the city received around 117 mm of rainfall on Saturday, exacerbating issues with clogged drainage systems.

PMC officials discovered that these cables were blocking stormwater lines, causing significant waterlogging. The problem was particularly severe on Sinhagad Road, where the drainage department found optical fibre cables obstructing the flow of water. Additional unauthorized constructions on nalas were also identified as a factor preventing 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, officials found that an Internet provider company’s contractor had placed optical fibre cables in the stormwater drains in 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, which further exacerbated the waterlogging issues.

Sahebrao Dandge, superintendent 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. 

The PMC also found that unauthorized use of stormwater lines by private parties for laying cables had been a recurring issue, leading to significant waterlogging problems. Civic activists and political parties have demanded stricter enforcement and accountability from the PMC to prevent such incidents in the future. 

Baramati MP Supriya Sule and BJP MLA Madhuri Misal have called for comprehensive action plans and additional funding for safety measures to address the flooding issues, urging the PMC to improve their pre-monsoon preparations and ensure thorough cleaning of all stormwater lines.