As part of their curriculum, second-year MSc students from the Geography department of the Savitribai Phule Pune University surveyed the Rajiv Gandhi Bridge in Aundh for two days, to determine traffic flow on the structure.
The analysis revealed that the number of vehicles using the bridge has increased 25 times since it was thrown open to the public in 2006. The bridge is the main gateway to the city from suburbs like Aundh, Wakad, Sangvi, Pimpri and Chinchwad.
The survey focussed on parameters like the number and frequency of different types of vehicles. The students also checked levels of noise and air pollution in the vicinity. Studying various aspects of traffic and transport is part of the department’s curriculum, and the Geography department has been conducting such surveys since 1980.
“The bridge was opened to traffic in 2006. However, the number of vehicles using the structure has gone up by 25 times. A majority of the vehicles using the bridge are heavy vehicles.
Hence, our study focussed on whether this single bridge was sufficient to cater to the need of the city and its suburbs like Aundh, Wakad, Sangvi and areas falling under PCMC’s ambit. All these suburbs have expanded in the last decade,” said B C Vaidya, professor, Geography department.
He added that students collected the data by counting each and every vehicle passing through this bridge. “The final report will be compiled within a month and the observations will be shared with the PMC,” Vaidya added.
Gokul Sanap, who was part of the survey, told this paper, “We are finding this study interesting. On Sunday, I was asked to observe the flow of four-wheelers and on Monday the focus was on ambulances, road rollers, etc.”
Vishal Bhosale, another student, said, “Understanding different patterns of traffic is part of geography. I discovered that the bridge is used the most between 9 am and 11 am, and 5 pm and 8 pm.”
Number of days the MSc students from Geography department conducted the survey
The Geography department has helped the Traffic police department in the past by sharing observations of a survey it had conducted to find out whether there was a need to convert Jungli Maharaj Road and Fergusson College Road to one-way thoroughfares.