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Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Amid opposition, PMC presses forward with plan to widen 335 narrow roads

Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said the widening of narrow roads is not mandatory and would be applicable only to those who want to have extra premium floor space index (FSI) during development.

Written by Ajay Jadhav | Pune |
February 3, 2021 12:47:53 pm
Pune roads, PMCThe BJP-ruled PMC has been pushing for the widening of 335 narrow roads, but has faced opposition from various localities whose residents fear that the project may affect their properties. (Representational)

Road development has taken centre stage in Pune as the city’s civic body plans to widen 335 narrow roads and undertake development of new roads and bridges through public-private partnership.

The BJP-ruled Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), citing a state government rule, has been pushing for widening of 335 narrow roads to a minimum of nine metres, but is facing opposition from various localities fearing it would affect their residential properties.

The civic administration, under Artice 210 of Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act 1949, declared its plan for widening the roads with width less than nine metres in phases. It sought suggestions and objections from locals while making public the maps of widening of proposed roads.

The citizens had been urged to submit their suggestions and objections in writing to the City Engineer department of PMC or send it through mail on 210roadwidening@punecorporation.org . Over one thousand suggestions and objections have been received by PMC for which the hearing would be conducted soon.

However, state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said the widening of narrow roads is not mandatory and would be applicable only to those who want to have extra premium floor space index (FSI) during development. The BJP has so far been justifying the move saying it was needed for proper development of the urban areas.

The Opposition parties led by NCP, Congress, Shiv Sena have been opposing the move and have already approached the state government to intervene and stop the PMC from widening narrow roads in the city.

In another major move, the ruling BJP has decided to take up development of new roads and bridges through Public Private Partnership (PPP) by issuing credit notes to the developer instead of paying in cash. It has also come under criticism as the civic administration has proposed roads and bridges of only one area in the first phase.

On Tuesday, the civic standing committee approved appointment of consultants for the various roads to be developed through PPP. The projects include a 24-meter-wide bridge on Mula-Mutha river, connecting Mundhwa and Kharadi to built at a cost of Rs 40 crore, a 30-meter-wide and 3.4-km-long elevated road from Kalyaninagar to Mundhwa to be built at a cost of Rs 227 crore, a 24-meter-wide road in Hadapsar alongwith an 18-meter-wide underpass from Amanora Park township to Keshavnagar and Malwadi road, a 18-meter-wide road from Amanora Park to Magarpatta road and Malwadi to Amanora Park Mall road at a cost of Rs 45 crore, a 30-meter-wide elevated road and a 2.1-km-long road from Bundgarden to Kalyaninagar bridge at a cost of Rs 141 crore, an 18-meter-wide five roads, two 24-meter-wide roads and a 30-meter-wide road in Kharadi at a cost of Rs 128 crore.

Earlier, the opposition had raised objections saying this was enabling development in specific areas even if it was saving expenditure. They expressed concern that development credit notes would speed up development, but reduce the revenue of the civic body, leading to shortage of funds for taking up other development works across the city.

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