Commuter Woes – A Potholed Nightmare!

City roads and Potholes

The frequent showers in the city may have brought relief from the unbearable heat but the rains have taken its toll on commuters. The showers have led to congestion on the roads and innumerable potholes, making it exceedingly dangerous to drive or ride in the city.

Expressing her frustration on commuting on bad roads daily, Charul Mehta says that there are several people on bikes who ride on the cycle track and footpath during heavy rains. “It took me two and half hours to get to Wagholi from Kondhwa chowk. The roads are filled with potholes. They are filled with water so you cannot see the depth of them. The signals are working but traffic policemen are not present on most roads manning them.”

Potholes and bumps on roads can cause severe damage to the body. The neck and spine is generally affected. Riding on bad roads puts a lot of pressure on the spine which causes pain on the lower back which can spread to the upper back, neck and shoulder blades.

According to the city’s leading orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Sachin Tapasvi the spine is a flexible yet strong organ of the body and the spinal discs are helpful to absorb load as well as allow for extreme flexibility.

“It would be of interest to know that the human intervertebral disc has the same strength to absorb load that is equivalent to the tyres of a Boeing 747 jumbo jet!

“With the constant travel and jerks through potholes, the forces that get concentrated on the discs are unnatural. These abnormal forces cause disruption of the normal water and fluid content of the intervertebral discs, thereby causing progressive weakening. Once these discs become weak, there is inflammation which then leads to increased stress and strain on the ligaments and the muscles that bind the vertebrae,” explains Dr Tapasvi.

He further adds that this follows a series of events of instability, leading to more pain, more inflammation, disc rupture and the resultant nerve compression along with sciatica like pain.

“In my personal experience, I have seen a sudden rise of patients in whom these problems have got precipitated and this happens as a yearly phenomenon as our Pune roads go for a toss during the monsoon months.”

Another regular commuter Raghu Durgapur, expresses his discomfort while travelling on NIBM Road, “After you cross Dorabjee’s, the road climbs up and comes down. It is right after Clover Highlands society towards Corinthians Club. Water always fills up on that road and this makes it difficult for me to drive past through it. This has been happening for the past 15 years. It is worse when people zoom past, splashing water on fellow commuters.”

The rains are only going to get heavier as August approaches. The Pune Municipal Corporation in the current financial year of 2017-2018 allotted Rs 200 crore on a road project which included concretisation of the roads. However, the results are yet to be seen.

Vijayta Lalwani

Vijayta Lalwani

The young lady from Lagos has always been keen on a career in journalism. Pune365 was hence the right stop. We agree. vijayta@pune365.com
Vijayta Lalwani

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