Those taking the Katraj-Dehu Road bypass on the Pune-Bangalore highway would do well to go cautiously under the bridge before Chandni Chowk, unless they want to take a quick shower, or skid. Continuous leakage over the last one month from a water pipeline on the bridge has rendered the patch a slippery terrain.
The source of the round-the-clock leak is a ruptured water pipeline attached to the bridge, exactly overhead the highway. Water jets keep hitting the cars, trucks, two-wheelers and passers-by that take the highway route. Motorists, particularly bikers, worry that they would skid due to the dripping water, or end up in a fatal pile-up.
Ganesh Adhav, a regular commuter on the stretch, said, “I pass through the Chandni Chowk bridge daily, and I have been encountering this leakage daily for the last one month. As I have a two-wheeler, I have to weave my way very carefully through the falling water to make it to the other side intact. Drivers of four-wheelers are also agitated by the leak as the water lands with a sudden splash on their windscreens and roofs, startling them. The problem disrupt the whole traffic flowing through this road.”
Another commuter, Rajesh Singh, said, “We stand at this spotto catch a bus or other vehicles to go till Hinjewadi for work. In the past week, I have seen a few two-wheelers slip over the water. Luckily, no one was seriously injured. The authorities haven’t bothered to plug the leak.”
The water pipeline with rupture comes from Kothrud and goes towards Bhugaon, until the limits of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) jurisdiction. Till now lakhs of litres of water has been wasted. Moreover, the area has become dangerous for pedestrians and vehicles, specially at the time of the evening rush hour, when vehicles caught in a snarl are pounded by the steady stream of water.
When MiD DAY contacted Aatish Jadhav, executive engineer in the PMC’s water supply department, he was unaware of the leakage. After we informed him of the issue, he said, “We are soon going to change the whole pipeline on the route which goes towards Bhugaon and widen it to 18 inches. The designs for the revamp of the pipeline are being prepared and the work will start after about a month. As for the leakage, I will immediately send my people tomorrow to look into the reason the rip in the pipe and repair it.”