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Metro: State nod welcome,land issues remain

The state nod for the Pune metro rail has been welcomed but land acquisition could pose a problem though the Pune Municipal Corporation seems confident of tackling the issue.

Written by NitinPatil | Pune |
February 19, 2011 4:45:28 am

The state nod for the Pune metro rail has been welcomed but land acquisition could pose a problem though the Pune Municipal Corporation seems confident of tackling the issue. On Thursday,Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan met with MLAs and MLCs from the city to discuss issues pertaining to Pune and the metro rail figured high on the agenda. Giving approval to the project,he said budgetary provisions would be made for the project. Within 15 days,the proposal would be forwarded to the Centre for its nod.

Despite the green signal,certain land issues are yet to be resolved. The PMC had approved the ambitious Shivsrushti cultural centre project and use 75 acres of the proposed bio-diversity park (BDP) land in Kothrud for that. The Shivsrushti project had been initially planned only on an 18-acre plot. There used to be a garbage depot which was closed down in 1999. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation,which had prepared the Pune metro rail report,had shown a station at the same site. But with PMC deciding to set up Shivsrushti there,a land issue has cropped up.

Similarly,Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had opposed any giving away of land of the Agriculture College for the metro project. Pawar had made it clear college land could not be given for the project. He suggested that efforts be made for exploring acquiring land from the Defence Ministry instead. There seems to be no clarity on this front.

Mayor Mohansingh Rajpal,however,said,“Land acquisition will not be a major problem. We will take all parties into confidence and sort out the issue.” He said they will try to resolve issues amicably. “Metro is very much on the tracks,” he said.

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Civic officials said it will be a herculean task to acquire land in congested city areas and only political will can push the project forward. Activist Sujit Patwardhan said,“The issue is not only about land availability. There has been utter chaos on the planning front from the beginning. Though data from reports suggest a metro rail may be justified for Pune,the data itself was questionable. Some rather ad hoc decisions have been made such as granting conditional extension to the Vanaz-Ramwadi corridor to Kharadi and the airport without studies to back it up.”

PCMC Commissioner Asheesh Sharma said,“Metro is the need of the hour for a bustling city like Pune…” Denying any friction with PMC over route-sharing cost,he said,“There was never any problem with PMC. We still remain firm on not paying for any route that does not pass through our jurisdiction.”

(With inputs from Manoj More)

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