After CEC hearing, PMC insists on construction of Balbharati-Paud Phata Road - Hindustan Times
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After CEC hearing, PMC insists on construction of Balbharati-Paud Phata Road

Jul 09, 2024 08:14 AM IST

The plan has been prepared with environmental considerations to ensure that the ecology and environment are not disturbed. Considering Pune’s transportation needs, this road must be built, says official

After the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) completed the hearing on Balbharati-Paud Phata Road with Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) officials and citizens, the civic body has now written to the CEC insisting that the proposed road is necessary and should be built.

In January this year, citizens and environmental activists had approached the SC-appointed CEC to hear environment-related issues. Thereafter, CEC member Sunil Limaye had visited the project site on April 12, 2024. (HT FILE PHOTO)
In January this year, citizens and environmental activists had approached the SC-appointed CEC to hear environment-related issues. Thereafter, CEC member Sunil Limaye had visited the project site on April 12, 2024. (HT FILE PHOTO)

Pune municipal commissioner Rajendra Bhosale and chief engineer of the road department Aniruddha Pawaskar gave a written submission to the Supreme Court (SC)-appointed body, emphasising that the proposed road is essential and does not violate rules. The written submission further stated that the road will be built following High Court directions and a consultant will be appointed to oversee all the work. The top PMC officer submitted this to the CEC on June 21.

Pawaskar said, “This road is important and is approved in the old development plan (DP). The plan has been prepared with environmental considerations to ensure that the ecology and environment are not disturbed. Considering Pune’s transportation needs, this road must be built. We have presented our views to the committee.”

In January this year, citizens and environmental activists had approached the SC-appointed CEC to hear environment-related issues. Thereafter, CEC member Sunil Limaye had visited the project site on April 12, 2024. During his visit, around 30 citizens had expressed their concerns, stressing on the importance of preserving the current ecosystem at the tekdi. Despite attempts, Limaye did not respond to calls.

Public opinion on the road is divided. The green brigade is opposing the road, claiming it will harm the hill’s ecology while others including the PMC believe that the road will help reduce traffic congestion on Law College Road. The PMC had planned to float tenders for the project last year but deferred its plan due to opposition. According to the revised plan, the proposed road will be 2.1 kilometre long and 30 metre wide.

Ujjwal Keskar, former opposition leader, PMC, said he will meet union environment and climate change minister Bhupendra Yadav regarding this issue. Stressing that the number of vehicles in the city is increasing, Keskar said that the Balbharati- Paud Phata Road will provide relief to the residents of Bhor, Mulshi, Kothrud, Shivajinagar and Khadakwasla. He also noted that civic facilities are important and praised the PMC for coordinating these efforts.

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