Congress-NCP govt failed to address Pune’s crucial issues: CM Fadnavis
The Maharashtra chief minister laid a majority of Pune’s inadequacies, from lack of 24x7 drinking water to solid waste management, at the door of his political opponents.india Updated: Jun 24, 2017 08:55 IST
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has sought to emphasise that Pune is on the top of his government’s agenda and has being accorded high priority in policy making.
Fadnavis sought to underscore this in a special interview to Hindustan Times by pointing out that in the last two-and-a-half years, his government had granted approval to the pending Development Plan (DP), set the Pune Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (PMRDA) in motion and initiated major steps on projects such as an international airport for Pune and Ring Road to ease traffic congestion. Pune was also being given high priority as one of the designated Smart Cities. Along with this, the concerns of Pimpri-Chinchwad were being addressed, he said.
The chief minister laid a majority of Pune’s inadequacies, from lack of 24x7 drinking water to solid waste management, at the door of his political opponents.
“They could not draft a development plan for the city for 15 years; we managed to do it within six months of winning power in the municipal corporation. Similarly, infighting in the Congress-NCP government had delayed setting up of the planning authority PMRDA. Things are moving fast now,’’ said the chief minister, adding that this authority will implement and oversee projects like the outer ring road, three metro lines for the city and Pimpri Chinchwad and fast pace them.
“We are working on strengthening the infrastructure to develop Pune as an Infotech city in the truest sense. The work on laying fibre optic cable is already in progress and we plan to provide all smart service to the citizens with the help of technology. Citizens will be able to pay their bills and get all the necessary information online. They will also get instant traffic updates on various routes on their mobiles. We intent to provide all services and information with the help of Internet,” Fadnavis said.
Smart Traffic Management
One of the major initiatives under the Smart City project would be the installation of smart signal synchronisation system for the smooth and efficient flow of traffic.
“Presently, the traffic management system is aimed at controlling static traffic. The management of dynamic traffic is not in the picture in the current system. We are aiming at managing dynamic traffic with minimum human interference. This can be achieved with technology. The new system will analyse the flow of long distance traffic movement and work according to the needs. Pune will have an adaptive traffic management system, which will reduce traffic congestion,” he said. The chief minister stressed that work on Pune’s new traffic system was moving at a fast pace and the tendering process for the work had already begun.
“We expect to complete the tender process in the next 30 days and the actual work will start very soon,” he said, adding that this would be the first-of-its-kind traffic management project in the country. He was confident that the funds needed for the Smart City project won’t be an issue. “We have received an overwhelming response for the municipal bond programme for Pune 24X7 water supply project. It has been oversubscribed by five times. This is a new approach to raise funds from the open market. It is going to be a game changer for developing infrastructure,” he said.
Land Acquisition for City Projects
Replying to a question on land acquisition for various projects in Pune, the chief minister said that a policy decision had been taken to hand over government lands that would be needed for public projects. “We have decided that the Government will hand over all the land necessary for the metro project, including the land needed for the Shivajinagar-Hinjewadi metro line,” he said.
At the same time, a formula was being worked out for acquisition of private lands needed for the ring road and the international airport project, he said. The chief minister admitted that land acquisition for the Purandar international airport was posing a challenge, but not one that was unsurmountable.
“We faced a similar problem in the case of Navi Mumbai airport but more than 95% land owners accepted our formula,” he said.
He pointed out that the land identified for the Purandar International Airport was ideally suited as it had a suitable terrain and was ideally suited for the construction of an airport. “It is the only plain land available near Pune and is ideal for an airport. There is very little habitation on this land. It is ideally suited for the project,” he said.
With a view to create capacity to meet the existing needs of growing air traffic, Fadnavis said that the government had already acquired land from the Defence Ministry for the expansion of the current Lohegaon airport.
Better Garbage Management
Given the grim situation on the garbage management front and the uproar from villagers around the existing Uruli-Devachi garbage dump, the chief minister said that the government had already identified land for the creation of a new garbage dump near Pimpri Sandas. “But our larger goal and intention is not to dump garbage and create landfills but to reclaim garbage. We are working out a plan for garbage disposal which will become operational in two years,” he said.
Clean River Project
The Chief Minister said that with the help of the Rs 1,100 crore Japanese assistance for the Mula-Mutha river project, the issue of river pollution would be addressed. “Once the project is completed, only treated water will be released in the river,” he said.
Speaking on other issues relating to the city, Fadnavis said that Pune continued to be an attractive destination for foreign investments in the IT and auto sectors. “In the last two years Pune has got extensive investment in the automobiles sector building on its existing status as auto hub. Our big problem is making land available to investors . I don’t envisage competition to Pune IT hub or its automobile hub status but our focus now will be to build the city as an innovations capital. In the next two years we hope to have a startup eco-system better than Bangalore,’’ he said.
Commissionerate for Pimpri Chinchwad
The Chief Minister, who also heads the Home Department, said the government was serious about establishing a separate police commissionerate for Pimpri-Chinchwad to reduce the pressure on the existing set-up and ensure better policing. “It will take some time, but we are working on this proposal. Pimpri-Chinchwad will have a separate police commissionerate in the future,” he said. He said the swift installation of CCTVs at various spots in the city had helped crime detection.
Peace with Sena
Devendra Fadnavis said that a meeting with BJP president Amit Shah had broken the ice between BJP and Shiv Sena. “Our meeting went off very well and on that day itself we knew this decision. Some of this is public posturing. I think we are sorted now,’’ he said.