Army wall no more in way of road plan

The removal of the Army’s compound wall at Dapodi was one among the 15 proposals for which “in principle” approval was given by Defence Minister A K Antony in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Written by MANOJ MORE | Pune | Published:January 22, 2009 1:09 am

After Antony’s nod,civic body sets May deadline,promises flyover

THE removal of the Army’s compound wall at Dapodi was one among the 15 proposals for which “in principle” approval was given by Defence Minister A K Antony in New Delhi on Tuesday. For over a decade now,the 1.4-km Army wall from Phugewadi octroi post to Harris Bridge at Dapodi has been a major hurdle for the 61-metre road widening project undertaken by the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation,an integral part of ensuring smooth traffic on the Pune-Mumbai highway. The compound wall belongs to The College of Military Engineering (CME),Dapodi.

Now that the Defence Ministry has finally given a “working NoC,” the PCMC has heaved a big sigh of relief. Actually,the reconstruction of the wall is already under way. PCMC deputy engineer Sanjay Bhosale said the reconstruction of the Army wall began nearly two months ago after the local Army officers gave a written approval. The new compound wall is coming up 30 metre inside the existing wall.

“Only after the new one has been constructed will the existing wall be removed,” he said.

So far,the PCMC has reconstructed a 350-metre wall from octroi post to the mart at Phugewadi. The compound wall is being built as per the specifications given by the Army. The wall will have three metres height. “The PCMC is spending Rs 1.20 crore for reconstruction of the wall. The total area that we are seeking to acquire is 42,000 sq m,” Bhosale said. The PCMC has set a May deadline for completion of the work.

Bhosale said along with the wall,the Army wants the construction of a flyover,a new gate after the existing one is brought down and a pathway. “Things have not been finalised. But the PCMC has promised to live up to the demands of the Army in lieu of the land,” he said. The Army has demanded that the flyover be constructed in such a way that there should a separate access to the defence personnel and their families,he said.

Deputy Director of Town Planning P Patil said the PCMC has only received working NoC from the Army for the Dapodi wall and the final possession has not been granted. Municipal Commissioner Asheesh Sharma had attended Tuesday’s meeting in New Delhi.

“After PCMC opened the 12-lane highway in September,traffic jams on the highway has almost disappeared except for the Dapodi stretch. Now,one hopes,from May motorists and two-wheeler riders will get easy passage on the Dapodi stretch too,” said civic activist Kailas Jadhav.

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