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Monday, June 27, 2022

Games end,digging endless

Tulsi Hotel on Baner Road has been standing witness to an unending spree of road repair for almost a year.

Written by Ranjani Raghavan | Pune |
May 14, 2009 12:11:12 am

Baner and university roads: A year of repairs set to stretch beyond deadline tomorrow

Tulsi Hotel on Baner Road has been standing witness to an unending spree of road repair for almost a year. In the run-up to the Commonwealth Youth Games,the hotel’s revenues took a severe beating as the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had cordoned off a part of Baner Road,severely constraining traffic. Six months have passed since the Games ended and the hotel is still struggling.

“Even now,with both sides of the road open,we are looking at a 40 per cent drop in revenues,” said Devidas Murkute,Tulsi Hotel proprietor,who also runs Mahabaleshwar Hotel on Baner Road,which too has seen a drop in revenues since the roadwork began.

Now they are worried about the monsoons and the inevitable flooding because of the raised level of Baner Road. The group has already begun work to raise Mahablehswar to the level of Baner Road but is yet to start work on Tulsi. “They have left us little time before the monsoons set in,” he said.

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With only two days left for the PMC’s May 15 deadline to stop digging roads,few contractors look as if they will meet it.

Like Baner Road,University Road too saw frenetic activity before the CYG; both roads have seen duplication of work since November.

At the University Road junction,many institutions continue to have a harrowing time because of digging work directly in front of their offices. The road had been completed in October. Just ahead of the CYG,the PMC had even spruced up the footpaths. All that has now been dug up again,with interlocking blocks piled up in a heap on the footpaths.

“Customers find it very difficult to visit our branch because of the roadwork. Pensioners are most affected,” said DT Jadhav,chief manager of the Bank of Maharashtra branch near the Pune University circle. Last week,Jadhav said he had to stop the contractor from digging up the bank’s entrance on the road.

“On our request,they’ve agreed not to dig in front of the entrance for the time being. This work has been going for months together,but it shows no signs of getting over,” he said. The digging could not be held back this week though.

“We thought the roadwork was over with the CYG but it is still going on,” said Pratibha Joag,deputy director general of the National Informatics Centre (NIC),Pune. “The exit from our office premises is often delayed because of the road work,just as the case is with the entrance,” she said. The NIC had advanced its timings by an hour to 9 am ahead of the CYG because of the roadwork. But there is no plan to do the same now.

Walecha Constructions,which has the contract for University Road,has said it will be over in less than a week. “We had to dig up the road again after CYG,to lay the utility cables. Also several NGOs wanted us to lay BRT islands and have different levels for cycle and pedestrian tracks on the footpaths. We received the communication from the PMC about the May 15 deadline; we are trying hard to complete the work,” said S A More,general manager,Walecha Constructions.

On Baner Road,contractors admit it will take at least till the first week of June. This stretch was spruced up,complete with the bitumen layer,ahead of the CYG in October. Six months down the line,it has been dug up again,to lay concrete this time.

“We got the PMC notice informing us about the May 15 deadline; it is possible to finish the work by then but for that we would have to stop the traffic,and we cannot do that,” said the supervisor of one project,Kalyan Naik.

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