The Pune Smart City Development Corporation Ltd (PSCDCL) is all set to develop its first state-of-the-art transit hub in the city at Balewadi. The hub will comprise a Metro station, a bus rapid transit system (BRTS) stand, and bus transit facility for both inter and intra city services of the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd, the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation and private operators.
“The proposal for a transit hub at Balewadi was approved by the Union government under the Smart City programme. It is going to be a state-of-the-art mixed land use development structure integrating many transport facilities in one place. It would also have a commercial facility like a mall,” said a PSCDCL official. He added that the proposed hub would act as a symbolic gateway to the city.
As per the proposal, the transit hub will be developed on an 11-acre plot of land in Balewadi, along the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, opposite the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex near the National Institute of Construction Management and Research. “Under the Smart City programme, it has been envisaged that the transit hub will be developed through a public private partnership… The project presents a distinct opportunity to monetise the land and generate funds for implementation of other Smart City projects,” said the official.
It has been suggested that the project should be developed under the Transit Oriented Development land use, which will allow the Floor Space Index to be enhanced from 1.2 to 4, and improve the viability and bankability of the project. Balewadi also marks the entrance to the city from the Mumbai-Bengaluru bypass and many state transport buses enter Pune via the road connecting to the highway. “It will help reduce traffic congestion on city roads… many of the state transport buses that halt at Shivajinagar can use the transit hub as the last destination… the commuters can then go on to their destinations via the Metro as well as BRTS,” he said.
The Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park at Hinjewadi, located close to the transit hub, will also be connected through Metro, a step that will help thousands of commuters who travel to the Infotech Park every day. The transit hub will also provide easy transport services to visitors of the Balewadi Sports Complex, which hosts national and international sports competitions, said the official. The Maha-Metro, the agency implementing the Pune Metro project, is also planning to set up transit hubs at various places in the city including Pune station, Swargate and Shivajinagar station.