Sunday, May 24, 2015

Hinjawadi- An infrastructural nightmare.

Im sure many of you go to work to "Hinjawadi" the so called techno hub of Pune- and most of you will agree that it is fast becoming a nightmare for almost all commutators. It is a classic example of lack of vision, planning, execution and maintenance- the very thing almost all companies situated there do on a daily basis.

For starters- there is "ONE" route to enter Hinjawadi from Pune City. ONE. And that too is a single laned flyover over the highway. How is it supposed to sustain about 100000+ commutators daily? To tell frankly, coming in from Highway is not a problem. you get absorbed into the traffic very easily, and the road after that is quite big. The issue is while going out. Miss a timing of 5.25 to leave Phase 1, and you are stuck for atleast an hour. Thanks to a terrible bottleneck created by the infrastructure planners. The Wakad bridge is standing example of "part time fixes". Which idiotic planning committee will otherwise have a flyover over a highway, and a traffic light for the highway? Its sheer stupidity. While going out of Hinjawadi, this flyover is singularly responsible for wastage of at least 20-30 minutes per person. Now imagine over 1000,000 individuals wasting their 20 mins here which comes to about 2 million Man hours. Service companies charge exorbitant fees to clients- on an hourly basis. Going by simple mathematics, one can only guess how much money could be made if those 2 million Man hours are put to better use! (Its sufficient to say the money coming in would be much much more.)
Bottleneck Bridge.
Yellow arrows- Ten feet wide road for 40% of traffic to turn towards kothrud.
red arrows: 10 feet wide flyover lane to go to Aundh.
Red dots- Traffic Lights on the highway.

Such artificial bottlenecks are present all over Hinjawadi-which sometimes makes me wonder if they are created deliberately. It creates chaos and huge traffic jams. There is hardly a day when I do not get stuck in one. To add to the traffic and associated pollution, most of the roads are dug up for laying cables and pipes, which causes added inconvenience. Its staggering how much dust and other hazardous chemicals we inhale daily. Once, I had a wet sponge with me- placed inside my helmet. After a 45 min ride back home, when I squeezed it, it oozed out a brown-black liquid- This is entering our lungs daily.  Its beyond normal thresholds that the body can sustain. I wont be surprized if I, and a lot many people get some breathing related problems soon. All we can do is "thank" the civic authorities and responsible committees, planners, contractors for putting millions at risk and increasing medical expenses. (Sometimes I wonder what would be the fines imposed on these people in say a US- or any other nation which actually cares about these issues).

Turning the attention to the issue of rainwater drainage systems- There is no drainage system in Hinjawadi. And if one exists- it does so in a perma-block state. A slight drizzle one day, and the roads are turned into rivers till the next. This is especially true outside Infosys and Persistent (Phase 1). The horrendous stench of drainage water in one patch, before Hinjewadi Gaavthan, is enough to cause nausea. Coming to Hinjawadi Gavthan- or Village, the planners have passed the "Main" artery of the Tech Park through the village. Here, you have some very small roads, crossings and turning points every 20 feet with big trucks turning every now and then leading to added congestion. This place reeks of the sick attitude that has creeped up in India- quick fixes. 

Take this example- in Hinjawadi Chauk, there are a number of Water outlets- on the main road. In mornings, the residents will go there to fill water, leave the pipes open and cause overflows and waste water nearly equivalent to the full capacity of a water tanker. Considering that many companies in Hinjawadi need to be supplied water from outside and adding to it that Maharashtra is a drought prone state, this is sheer wastage of a crucial and limited resource. Once the water starts overflowing, there is no drainage system for it to flow into. So it flows on the roads- thereby weathering off the top surface of the road. Large number of potholes whose depth is difficult to judge when filled with the overflowing water creep up on that patch. How do the authorities react to this? Patch up the road- problem fixed! Come the 3rd month after repairs, this continued use of the pipes and taps, its the same sight all over again.


What is really frustrating and disheartening in all this, is the failure of the authorities to locate the very obvious root causes of the problems- leave alone address them. In the above example- it is clear that the pipes need to be removed from the road and that a proper drainage facility should be available to carry of any spillages. That should be the action item- instead, the authorities clear it by providing a temporary patch. Waste thousads regularly when the same thing can be fixed in a few hundred in one go. Another example- you can see that a flyover is causing problems- instead of finding feasible solutions to bypass the highway, the authorities are busy digging up the roads leading to it and then not finishing off after their repairs are done. Frankly speaking Im sick of all this idiotic planning. I seriously want to meet the people who are responsible for development of the area and ask for answers.

There are now plans to extend Hinjawadi from 3 Phases to 7 Phases. I take a stand against it. Dear Asshole authorities, unless and until the you provide at least 2 other alternative routes to get out of Hinjewadi, and unless you drastically improve the existing infrastructure, there is no point of adding extra traffic. You fail to provide basic public transport to cater the people commuting to Hinjawadi, and you plan to put more people without first increasing your existing infrastructure which is clearly unable to cope with the existing traffic and congetion.  If you plan to build these phases, build them with a future perspective- not a narrow one concentrated on making a lot of money for yourselves very quickly. 

While admonishing the authorities, we as commutators must also look at ourselves for the complete lack of discipline we show here. 3 lanes are converted to 6 lanes. This is uncalled for. Stay in 3 lanes- it may look like a long queue, but then it will be quicker as well. There are simple fixes. If you want to turn right and go onto the flyover, keep right from before. There is no need to stick to the leftmost lane and then abruptly take a rightward course a few feet before the flyover. No. A thorough introspection is needed by everyone. Awareness of how much impact our action may cause should be clear. Unfortunately, it is not.

That said, Pune Municipality authorities and Public Works departments anyway deserve to be smashed all the way up their asses for having an extremely poor maintenance plan for its infrastructure. The so called progress is actually quite retrograde. Its just exposing the faults at the foundations of all the planning.  This is the state of our so called "State of the Art World Class Info Tech Park"and only the complete apathy shown to it by the authorities is responsible for it to be in the state it is now. An infrastructural nightmare and an utter waste of time, added to it a potential life hazard.

This is not acceptable.

1 comment:

  1. The way the flyover has been built is itself wrong. The flyover should have been built for the aid of the commuters travelling on the highway, not for the IT guys. That stupid signal creates a hindrance for both the IT guys trying to enter the city and the guys travelling on the highway. Disastrous, it is.

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