As land acquisition slows down, PMC mulls ban on heavy vehicles on Katraj-Kondhwa Road - Hindustan Times
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As land acquisition slows down, PMC mulls ban on heavy vehicles on Katraj-Kondhwa Road

BySiddharth Gadkari
Oct 23, 2023 07:20 AM IST

Consequently, the civic body is now trying other means to ease the traffic congestion on this road; one such being a ban on heavy vehicles on this road for two hours during morning- and evening- peak hours

PUNE: With most landowners interested only in cash compensation, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has managed to acquire only 19 out of nearly 138 properties required for the widening of the Katraj-Kondhwa Road. Consequently, the civic body is now trying other means to ease the traffic congestion on this road; one such being a ban on heavy vehicles on this road for two hours during morning- and evening- peak hours.

The Katraj Kondwa Road sees constant traffic congestion. (RAHUL RAUT/ HT PHOTO)
The Katraj Kondwa Road sees constant traffic congestion. (RAHUL RAUT/ HT PHOTO)

While deputy chief minister and Pune guardian minister, Ajit Pawar, had recently reviewed the road widening project and instructed the authorities to speed up the land acquisition process, he has now instructed the administration to implement a two-hour ban on heavy vehicles both during morning- and evening- peak hours to reduce traffic congestion and avoid accidents on the Katraj-Kondhwa Road.

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Vikas Dhakne, additional municipal commissioner, PMC, said, “There are big residential societies, schools, marriage halls, offices, banks, temples and hospitals located around the Katraj-Kondhwa Road. As a result, there’s always a lot of traffic on this road, leading to big jams during school- and office- rush hours. There have also been a few accidents. To tackle this situation and as per the directives of Dy. CM and Pune guardian minister, Ajit Pawar, we have written a letter to the Pune district collector, Rajesh Deshmukh; Pune rural police superintendent; and deputy commissioner of Pune traffic police; to stop heavy traffic on this road during peak hours to resolve the traffic problem, especially during busy morning and evening hours.”

“The work of land acquisition is also underway. During a recent visit, Ajit Pawar met three landowners personally and convinced them. These three landowners own around seven acres of land. Now, a large part of the land acquisition problem has been solved,” Dhakne said.

Jyoti Shinde, a resident of the Katraj-Kondhwa Road, said, “The PMC has carried out road widening in patches. We are seeing huge traffic jams and there is a threat of accidents. The PMC should complete the work as early as possible. Our children are also facing problems during school hours. It is a very dangerous situation.”

The Katraj-Kondhwa Road is an arterial road linking Satara Road to Solapur Road. While the road sees heavy outbound traffic from the westerly bypass to Solapur Road, it is only 15 to 20 metres wide and faces severe traffic congestion along the 3.5 km stretch from Kondhwa through Khadi Machine Chowk to Katraj junction.

In December 2018, the PMC decided to widen the road and appointed a contractor for the purpose. He started widening the road from the existing 15 to 20 metres to 84 metres. The project cost, including goods and services tax (GST), was estimated to be 215 crores and the deadline for completion of the project was set as December 2021. However, the work ground to a halt last year as the PMC did not have adequate funds to acquire land for the project. Thereafter, the PMC decided to reduce the width of the road to only 50 metres, down from the 84 metres proposed earlier as it was burdening the PMC coffers. Originally, the plan was for an 84 metres’ wide Katraj-Kondhwa Road but due to expensive land acquisition, they decided to widen it only up to 50 metres instead. The total cost of acquiring land for the road is estimated to be 280 crores, out of which the state government has provided 200 crores, and the remaining 80 crores will come from the PMC.

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