Pune News: Tathawade-Punawale Underpass A Horror Show for Commuters, Seek Prompt Intervention From PCMC

Pune News: Tathawade-Punawale Underpass A Horror Show for Commuters, Seek Prompt Intervention From PCMC

Pune News: Tathawade-Punawale Underpass A Horror Show for Commuters, Seek Prompt Intervention From PCMC

Share This News

An unseasoned spell of rains is just going to exacerbate the pre-existing issues of lack of space, potholes and traffic.

10 May 2024

By Khushi Maheshwari 

On the service road of the Tathawade-Punawale underground road, which is located along the Mumbai-Bangalore highway, numerous potholes have appeared. There is a great deal of traffic congestion as a result of commuters’ major disruption, especially for those going to the Hinjewadi IT Park. The situation has become so bad that it now takes about 20-25 minutes to travel only 100 metres, which is very inconvenient for the locals.

MLA  Ashwini Jagtap has written to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to bring attention to this urgent matter, pleading for prompt action to improve the state of the road and ease passengers’ suffering.

Sumit Dhage, a member of the Punawale resident’s forum, elaborated on the issue of migration and said, “Both the Punawale and Tathawade underpasses are very narrow. They were constructed a long time back and at that time Punawale area was a village with very less population. Today almost 1 lakh people live here. Punawale has more towers than probably even Pimpri Chinchwad does and most of the towers are 26-28 storeys.” 

He added that the PCMC has delegated the responsibility of finding a concrete solution to the problem to the NHAI and even after appeals and suggestions from a lot of citizens, does not want to take any action. 

One permanent solution to this problem is the Kivale to Balewadi Corridor project, but that too has seen negligible progress since it was proposed. “The elevated corridor project was proposed in 2023 and as a part of that project they are going to widen the underpass as well but we are being told that it is still in the design phase and will take a long time. We cannot wait that long,” added Sumit. 

Highlighting other issues such as drainage, he said that there is no proper drainage system, it is all very patchy, and during monsoons the water logging gets so extreme that one can see a small lake forming in the underpass, with the water accumulating up to 4 feet. Not only is this a hurdle for commuters but it also adds to the grief of traffic police officers, to the extent that they request commuters to stay inside during monsoons. 

Mayur Patil, another resident of the area, echoed Sumit’s grievances and said, “There are a lot of talks but no implementation, it takes 30-40 minutes to cross the underpass so sometimes we just feel like going back. But we cannot afford to do that in case of emergencies.. what if I have a pregnant woman with me who needs to get to the hospital across the underpass, in that case I cannot turn around.”

He also highlighted how life-threatening the underpass has become and manifold of other concerns such as the well being of police officers, ever increasing potholes, extensive time and fuel consumption and so on. 

Talking about PCMC’s negligence he said, “They only want us to keep paying taxes without even meeting our basic needs such as connectivity.” He further explained how the PCMC has refused to even fill in the potholes since they claim that the area comes under the jurisdiction of NHAI. 

There have been quite a lot of temporary fixes for the underpass issue but it is high time that a more permanent solution was devised. “We have given a lot of suggestions to the corporations like redirecting certain roads to relieve congestion in the area, but they are yet to act on any,” said Sumit.