Thousands of residents of Pimple Saudagar and nearby areas can now breathe easy as the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation has finally zeroed in on a two-km stretch that will take them to Aundh. At present, commuters have to take a circuitous 5-km route to reach Aundh after defence authorities closed down the 400-metre stretch from Rakshak chowk to Kunjir chowk following a Supreme Court ruling.
“We have send a report to defence ministry suggesting the alternative route that passes from the boundary of the defence land. The final report will be sent to the defence ministry within a week,” Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Commissioner Rajiv Jadhav told The Indian Express on Monday.
Jadhav said that the alternative road is already in possession of PCMC and it does not pass through defence land. “It passes through the boundary of the defence land. Whatever little defence land will be required, we will pay for it,” he said.
The alternative route starts from Shivar Garden and stretches till Ginger Society. “The distance of the alternative route is barely two km whereas currently people have to take a five km route to reach Aundh. It will certainly be a big relief for them,” he said.
Jadhav said that once the defence ministry approves the road, it will take less than six months to lay the new stretch. “We are hopeful that the defence ministry will agree to the alternative route suggestion,” he said.
Maval MP Shrirang Barne said that the new alternative route looks a better option since chances of defence authorities opening up the closed road is almost zero. “I have spoken to the defence minister. He has told me clearly that they will not open the closed road following the Supreme Court directives,” he said.
Barne said that PCMC should speed up the process of sending the report suggesting the alternative route. “I will take up the matter immediately with the defence minister and am hopeful that approval will be given,” he said.
The issue came to light last month when the Supreme Court dismissed a petition by residents of Pimple Saudagar urging that the defence authorities be barred from closing down the road from Rakshak Chowk to Kate Pimple. The apex court, however, rejected the petition challenging the defence department’s decision in 2012 to close the road for security concerns.
Residents of Pimple Saudagar have been fighting a legal battle to stop the closure of the road. The two-km stretch passes through Aundh Military Station and comprises residential quarters of defence personnel.