Tunnel project: PMC appointed consultant blacklisted for delaying feasibility report
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to re-tender the ambitious tunnel project of Pashan-Panchavati-Kothrud after the hired consultant failed to submit a feasibility report of the project for more than a year.
The project was announced in 2017 to ease the traffic problem of Paud road, Senapati Bapat road and Shivajinagar.
Almost a year ago, the PMC had given a tender to CV Kand consultant Pvt limited to conduct and submit a feasibility report, topographical survey and an aerial survey. However, it was not completed by the consultant.
Now, the PMC project department has blacklisted the consultant and have begun retendering. Last week, the corporation floated a tender to appoint project management consultants for pre- and post-tender activities for the construction of the tunnel connecting Pashan-Panchavati to Kothrud.
The Pashan-Panchavati area with the Kothrud tunnel project is a long pending one. The project was introduced in 2017 in the PMC annual budget and the PMC administration had appointed a consultant in 2019 for the project. The total estimated cost was ₹224 crore.
The project consists of two tunnels, Kothrud-Panchvati and Panchvati-Gokhalenagar which will connect each other. It will help reduce the distance of Pashan to Kothrud by half.
Indrabhan Randive, executive engineer of the project department said, “Last week, the corporation floated a tender to appoint consultant for the Pashan-Panchavati to Kothrud tunnel work. The previous consultant could not submit a feasibility report to the civic body for more than a year. The previous consultant only conducted a topographical survey. Therefore, we floated a new tender for feasibility report work.”
In September 2020, deputy chief Minister Ajit Pawar had instructed all government institutes from where the tunnel is going to pass to cooperate with the PMC. After that, state forest department, Automotive Research Association of India Research Institute (ARAI), the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) and the Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) gave a no-objection certificate to the PMC to conduct geological surveys on their premises.
The PMC proposed two tunnels under the development plan for the old city limits. The common endpoint of both these tunnels opens at Panchavati society where there is a hilly area behind the residential complexes. According to the plan, the vehicles coming from both Gokhalenagar and Kothrud will come out of the tunnel at Panchavati and through the society; these vehicles will head towards Pashan, Balewadi and Aundh area.
On the other side, residents of Panchavati had registered opposition to the proposal saying that the proposed plan will not only fail in addressing traffic problems, but it will also destroy the rich biodiversity in the area.
The residents of Panchavati, Pashan area claimed that the proposed tunnels are 100 feet wide, but the roads in Panchavati are only 40 feet wide, so they will not be able to take the volume of the traffic.