November 2, 2013 2:30:18 am
Work on the proposed Swargate flyover has started with the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) undertaking excavation work near Sai Mandir.
There were some initial hurdles but now we are on schedule. We have started excavation work and the project will be completed in 30 months,said a senior MSRDC officer.
The 1.4-km L-shaped flyover,the estimated cost of which is around Rs 158 crore,will connect Shankarseth Road to Satara Road. The flyover is expected to smooth traffic on this route,especially for Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) and State transport buses. The flyover is also expected to reduce traffic burden in Swargate area.
The Swargate flyover project had been in limbo owing to technical reasons. In 2007,MSRDC had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) for the project. Later,several NGOs wanted PMC to reconsider the proposal even before basic studies by the Indian Road Congress (IRC) as well as the Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) of Pune were carried out. The project also had several unresolved design issues.
In a letter to Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Pathak,NGOs including Parisar,Nagrik Chetna Manch,Pedestrians First,Save Pune Traffic Movement and PMP Pravasi Manch had said the design does not adhere to norms regarding pedestrian facilities and non-motorised transport as laid down by IRC and advised by central urban development department.
They stated that a multi-modal terminal,Metro and High Capacity Mass Transit Road have been planned in the Swargate area and the civic body did not prepare an integrated design for all these projects. This would create integration,compatibility and operational problems in future. While this project will take a minimum of three years to complete,probably the flyover will get congested by this time. The civic body has not conducted any cost-benefit analysis to justify the expensive project before taking a decision to implement it, said NGOs in the letter. They had proposed for a cost-effective workable solution to effectively resolve traffic congestion problem and pedestrian safety issues in Swargate area.
The NGOs demanded the project be put on hold and a review be done after scientific studies. According to NGO members,the flyover has not been integrated with the proposed multi-modal terminal,which is still in design phase. The design of two such two mega projects at the same critical junction (multi-modal terminal and flyover) needs to be done in an integrated manner to ensure compatibility and also to determine the impact on each other,they added.
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