SHIRUR MP Amol Kolhe on Wednesday revived the demand for an airport in Chakan to benefit industries and farmers in the region. He raised the demand in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. Kolhe also met Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and sought his help in easing the traffic congestion on Pune-Nashik and Pune-Ahmednagar highways.
“The Shirur Lok Sabha seat has three MIDCs (Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporations). In the industrial area under Shirur jurisdiction, there are several small, medium and large industrial units, including MNCs (multinational corporation). Besides, farm products from the region are exported worldwide,” Kolhe said.
He added that the Shirur Lok Sabha constituency was steeped in religion and history, with places such as the temple town of Alandi, Bhimashankar temple, Shivneri fort and Vadhu Tulapur.
“If an airport is set up in Chakan, it will boost the export of farmers’ products and give a fillip to the industrial area… it will go a long way in giving tourism a big push,” he said.
For years, the state government has been planning to set up an airport in Chakan. However, following protests by farmers in some villages where land was to be acquired, the plan was moved to Purandar.
Kolhe has also demanded that there should be a ropeway at Shivneri fort, the birthplace of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji. He has sought setting up of a ‘Shiv Shruti’ at the fort’s foothill. “A ropeway will help the old and ailing, as well as the children, to scale the fort in no time,” he said.
During his meeting with Gadkari, Kolhe urged him to help ease traffic congestion on Pune-Nashik and Pune-Nagar highways.
“I have asked for the appointment of a consultant to widen the Pune-Nagar highway. I have submitted a memorandum to the minister,” Kolhe said, adding that widening the highway will help lessen traffic congestion in Wagholi, Shikrapur and Ranjangaon areas.
Kolhe said he had sought to turn the Pune-Nashik highway into a six-lane route from Nashik Phata to Chandoli with a flyover at Chakan and MIDC Chowk. “I discussed both the issues with the minister, who has promised to look into them,” he said.