After waterlogging, PMC cuts unauthorised optical fibre cables blocking storm drains

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) on Sunday aggressively cut unauthorized optical fibre cables laid by various internet service providers through the storm water pipelines in Sinhagad Road and other parts of the city.

PMC also found unauthorised constructions at various locations in Nullhas blocking water flow. (HT PHOTO) {{^userSubscribed}} {{/userSubscribed}} {{^userSubscribed}} {{/userSubscribed}}

PMC officials said these cables had blocked storm water pipes, leading to massive flooding on Sinhgad Road on Saturday after around 117 mm of rainfall fell in the city.

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After flooding occurred on various roads, officials of PMC's sewerage department visited the places and found optical fibre cables in storm drains which were responsible for the flooding. At the same time, PMC also found unauthorised constructions at various places in Nullhas which were obstructing the flow of water.

Heavy rains within a short period of time have caused severe flooding in many areas of Pune, including Sinhagad Road, Karve Road, Pune University Road, Vishrantwadi, Dhanori, Kalas, parts of Wadgaonsheri, Pune Railway Station and Bundgarden Road.

As citizens criticized the massive flooding, officials of PMC's Water Resources Department, district administrations, road construction department and Pune traffic police visited various places.

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During their visit, PMC officials found six to seven low-lying areas where an internet service provider contractor had laid fibre optic cables in the storm drains. The officials severed these cables at PL Deshpande Garden, Patil Hospital and Bramha Hotel in Manikbaug area as these cables had obstructed the flow of water and led to flooding.

Dinkar Gojare, chief engineer of the water resources department, said, “We have cut the optical fibre cables in the storm drains on Sinhagad Road. We have also asked the road department to take action against the contractors and stop them from using storm drains. We have found a 25-metre long optical fibre cable in the low-lying areas of Manikbaug.”

According to Gojare, another bundle of optical fibre and MSEDCL power cables was seen hanging over the nullahs in the Sinhagad Road area.

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Sahebrao Dhandge, chief engineer of the highway department, said, “We have instructed all highway department officials to cut fiber optic cables in the storm drains and take action if they find any.”

Officials said they also found an empty barrel downstream in the Manikbaugh nullah. In addition, a private landowner had narrowed the nullah through construction work, creating an obstruction to the flow of water.

PMC noticed that the National Highway had laid a canal and had not cleaned it from Wadgaon Bridge to Warje Bridge. PMC cleaned the canal.

Naresh Raiker, chief engineer of the highway department, said, “We have not received any complaints about internet service outages after cutting the fiber optic cables on Sinhagad Road.”

Intervention in the Nullahs

Construction work on Gunthewari plots in Dhanori, Ambegaon, Dhankawadi and Wadgaonsheri resulted in narrowing of the width of the nullahs, leading to waterlogging. The Drainage Department of the PMC has asked the Planning Permission and Construction Department to remove these encroachments to clean the nullahs.

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Gojare said, “We cannot clean the nullahs with machines because we have no space. At Ujjwal Garden Society in Wadgaonsheri, there was severe waterlogging because rainwater could not drain into the nullahs.”

He also mentioned, “The road authority built footpaths and cycle paths without connecting them to the storm drains. Contractors buried the storm drain shafts while resurfacing the road.”

Rainwater drainage chambers are responsible for waterlogging on Pune University Road

Due to construction work on Pune Metro Line 3, severe flooding occurred on Ganesh Khind Road on Saturday.

Gojare said, “We have directed the PMRDA Metro officials to use iron stormwater chambers instead of cement on Ganeshkhind Road and Baner Road as they drain water faster. During our visit, the Pune Traffic Police also asked the PMRDA officials to replace the stormwater chambers.”

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