Land acquisition constraints PMC to reduce Katraj-Kondhwa road width from 84m to 50m
Land acquisition issues have forced the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to reduce the width of proposed Katraj-Kondhwa road from 84 metres to 50 metres, officials said on Tuesday
Land acquisition issues have forced the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to reduce the width of proposed Katraj-Kondhwa road from 84 metres to 50 metres, officials said on Tuesday.
Considered one of the costliest road plans after PMC sanctioned ₹215 crore for the mere 3.5 kilometre stretch for widening with service roads and an underpass, land acquisition hurdles had stalled the work.
PMC has decided to develop the road only with 50-metre width instead of the earlier planned 84 metres. It is likely to reissue bids for the project.
A review meeting chaired by municipal commissioner Vikram Kumar on Monday to decide the fate of the road was attended by former MLA Yogesh Tilekar and PMC officials. It was decided at the meeting to soon develop the road with 50 metres width and address land acquisition and road widening issues later.
Tilekar said, “The road plan is stuck since many years because of land acquisition issues. Hence, we have agreed to develop the existing road with available land and offer relief to the commuters.”
The Katraj-Kondhwa road is one of the major stretches that links Satara road to Solapur road. Heavy traffic passes out of the city via the route from the westerly bypass to Solapur road. The narrow road (15m to 20m wide) faces regular logjams along the 4km stretch between Kondhwa and Katraj junction that passes through Khadi Machine chowk.
VG Kulkarni, head, PMC road department, said, “A lot of issues is being faced for getting land for the road. Developing the existing 50-meter stretch will benefit commuters. Simultaneously, PMC will try to acquire land for road widening plan.”
In December 2018, a PMC-appointed contractor began the work of widening the existing 3.5km Katraj-Kondhwa road from 20 metre to 84 metre. The project cost was ₹215 crore, including GST. The deadline was fixed as December 2021 though only 25 per cent work has been completed so far.
A PMC senior official on condition of anonymity said it is not yet finalised whether to assign the work to same contractor or appoint a new one. “As the road width and other components are being reduced or removed from the proposed plan, the cost will drop,” he said.
Devendra Fadnavis as the then chief minister carried out the groundbreaking of this road.
Earlier, PMC decided to implement the road-widening project with deferred payment option - temporary postponement of the payment of an outstanding bill or debt, usually involving repayment by instalments. But, PMC realised that they would have to pay an additional ₹100 crore to the contractor if they opted for the deferred payment mode. Hence, the option was discarded by the PMC standing committee.
Long way to completion
2013: Katraj-Kondhwa road-widening plan was first proposed
2017: PMC prepares proposal, make financial allocation in budget
2018: PMC cancels three bids due to allegations of inflated cost, before giving the contract at ₹215 crore
November 2, 2018: Devendra Fadnavis lays foundation stone
December 2021: Deadline to complete the road project
July 2022: Acquisition issues stall project, only some stretch has been dug up
Source: Pune Municipal Corporation