District admin seeks ₹3,000 crore for next phase of land acquisition for Ring Road project
MSRDC had given ₹1,000 crore for he first phase, of which ₹830 crore were given to farmers for 160 hectares of land
The district administration has sought ₹3,000 crores from the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) for carrying out the next phase of land acquisition work for the Ring Road project, officials said on Wednesday. The MSRDC had given ₹1,000 crore for carrying out the first phase of land acquisition work for the project, out of which ₹830 crores were handed over to the farmers for acquiring 160 hectares of land for the ring road project till date.
District collector Rajesh Deshmukh said, “The earlier ₹1,000 crore fund has been nearly used up for land acquisition but now we need between ₹2,500 to ₹3,000 crores to complete the next phase of the land acquisition process for the Ring Road project. We require the said money for funding the acquisition of another 525 hectares of land in the next phase.”
According to the district administration, while some farmers have given their consent for land acquisition, many more have yet to commit their land for the project. The district administration is likely to forcibly acquire the land in the near future in the wake of the slow response from farmers who had already pledged their lands. The farmers who have given their consent have been given 25 per cent additional compensation for their land.
A district administration communique to the MSRDC on September 15 stated, “In the background of fast land acquisition work underway and utilisation of the initial corpus of funds, there is a need for another tranche of ₹3,000 crores to acquire the pending land and award compensation to the farmers.”
The Ring Road project has been bifurcated into eastern and western zones wherein the eastern zone comprises Maval and Kelawade while the western zone comprises Bhor, Haveli and Mulshi talukas of the district. Besides, land acquisition has to be carried out in 37 villages along Sinhagad Road which involves the acquisition of 395 hectares of land. The administration has completed land measurement in 36 of the said villages, and preparations are underway for awarding compensation.
The state government had made a provision of ₹1,500 crores for land acquisition along Sinhagad Road. The district administration had initiated the sale agreement related to land acquisition for the ambitious Ring Road project from March 21. The 170 km-long Pune Ring Road will be an eight-lane express highway catering to a vehicle speed of 120 kmph. The Pune Ring Road is a proposed circular outer road for the Pune Metropolitan Region, and had earlier faced resistance from the locals. It may be recalled that the basic infrastructure committee of the state government on August 25 last year gave its ‘in principle’ approval to the implementation of the project. The Ring Road project will split the city and the highway traffic, and help in considerable reduction of vehicular pollution.
The state administration has said that the mega project is needed to decongest roads by diverting traffic passing through Pune to other areas in Maharashtra. The existing roads in the city cannot be widened due to the dense urban agglomeration. The interstate and ‘within the state’ traffic flow is extremely high in Pune as three major national highways including Mumbai-Bangalore, Mumbai-Hyderabad-Vijayawada, and Pune-Nashik; and other state highways such as Pune-Pandharpur, Pune-Aurangabad, and Pune-Mangaon pass through Pune adding to the heavy volume of traffic in the Pune Metropolitan area.