The year ahead: 23 things Punekars should watch out for in 2023 - Hindustan Times

The year ahead: 23 things Punekars should watch out for in 2023

Dec 31, 2022 11:12 PM IST

The year is all set to start with the much-awaited G20 summit, meetings for which will take place in January. Punekars may finally get a solution to the traffic problem as work on Chandni Chowk flyover and Pune ring road is underway

1. Aiming for a higher rank in the Swachh Survekshan and the Ease of Living Index

Riverfront project work in progress at Bund Garden. (HT FILE PHOTO)
Riverfront project work in progress at Bund Garden. (HT FILE PHOTO)

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) decided to take a novel approach to waste management to improve its ranking on the Swachh Survekshan-2023. The garbage generated in the city will be recycled and used to create statues, sculptures, and other models or artefacts. These creations will then be displayed in ten gardens throughout the city. At the same time, Pune hopes to reclaim first place in the ease of living index this year after falling to second place the previous year.

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2. Three G20 Summit meetings in Pune

A G-20 summit meeting will take place in Pune from January 15 and 16, with more such meetings planned in June and July this year in the city, which is one of three venues in Maharashtra for global summits. In preparation for the G20 meetings, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has begun the beautification of various chowks, road repairs, and other infrastructure work.

3. Purandar airport land acquisition will begin

With the Shinde-Fadnavis government stating unequivocally that the proposed airport will be built at the previously agreed-upon site in Purandar, the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) has begun land acquisition preparations, with a notification expected in January 2023. MADC will build the airport once the land is acquired.

4. Punekars to get water through metres under 24/7 water project

Due to delays in laying pipelines and building overhead water tanks, the completion date of PMC’s 24/7 equitable water supply scheme has been pushed back to 2023. PMC has completed 43 tanks so far, with the remainder under construction. Residents will be charged based on their water usage once the project is completed.

5. Pune to Host Mini Olympics in January

According to Suhas Diwase, the sports commissioner, Pune will host the Maharashtra State Olympic Games in January 2023. Transport for the tournament is yet to be properly planned. 39 sports will be played in this event, which will involve more than 6,000 athletes from different nations. This event intends to promote sports, establish a sporting environment, and provide players with a stage where sportspersons can display their skills.

6. Pune Metro’s next stretch on Phase-1 to be operational

Maha Metro intends to make the next stretch between Nal stop to Shivajinagar of the Kothrud-Ramwadi line operational by March 2023. Service from Phugewadi station to Civil Court in Shivajinagar will also start at the same time. Trial runs on both stretches have commenced and the operationalisation of service on these routes will be a major restripe to commuters wanting to go for work in central parts of the city.

7. Pune and PCMC areas to witness civic elections

There is likely to be heavy political activity in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad as the two corporations will elect new representatives who will serve for five years. Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporations are currently under administrator’s rule. While the state elections commission has not yet announced dates, the work for restructuring of panels has already begun, and the buzz in political circles suggests that the elections are likely to happen by March 2023. The BJP with Shiv Sena (Shinde camp) is attempting to maintain control while NCP along with Congress and Shiv Sena (UBT) attempting to seize power from political rivals.

8. Pune Lohegaon Airport to see a new terminal by May 2023

According to Jyotiraditya Scindia, the minister of civil aviation, the new terminal building at Pune’s Lohegaon airport will be operational by May 2023. When completed, the new terminal will help reduce airport congestion during peak hours. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is building the terminal at a cost of 475 crores. The new building, with 10 passenger boarding bridges, 72 check-in desks and 36,000 square feet for food and beverage and retail outlets, will be seamlessly linked with the current terminal to provide a built-up area of 7.5 lakh square feet for processing 16 million flyers per year.

9. Pune Ring Road work to begin

Areas surrounding Pune may see some relief from growing traffic as MSRDC plans to begin construction on the long-awaited Pune Ring Road by April 2023. The 170 km long Pune ring road will help to reduce traffic congestion by allowing cars from different regions of the state to travel around the city without using its arterial roads. A contractor will be chosen in January before the work begins.

10. From April 1, 2023 - 18% hike in toll prices on Mumbai-Pune Expressway

Commuters on the Mumbai-Pune expressway will have to cough up more user fees from April 1 next year as the tariff on the important toll road will be revised. A one-way fare on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway for cars comes to around 270, while buses pay 797.

11. Chandani Chowk flyover may open by Dec 2023

The ongoing construction work on the multi-deck flyover at Chandani Chowk is expected to be completed in the second half of this year. A large number of commuters use the stretch of the Mumbai-Bangaluru national highway to get to Hinjewadi IT Park. It was in the news for long traffic jams throughout most of 2022, with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde also stuck in traffic here, prompting the demolition of the old bridge.

12. Missing Link Project on Mumbai - Pune expressway set to be complete by 2023

The ‘Missing link’ road, connecting Khalapur toll booth point with Kusgaon, will be completed by December 2023. The road will be crossing the entire ghat section, reducing 30 minutes of travel time for commuters on the expressway. Two tunnels, two viaducts and eight levels of new roads will be constructed in this project. Estimated to be aided with the widest tunnel in Asia with a width of 23.75 metres, the expressway will help travellers in avoiding traffic congestions and accidents as the 13 km stretch from Lonavla to Khopoli exit can now be travelled through the tunnel.

13. New six-lane tunnel on Pune - Satara highway to be completed by March 2023

To lower accident rates at the S curve of the Pune-Satara highway, the construction of a six-lane tunnel has been underway this year. There will be two tunnels, equipped with three lanes in each of them, improving connectivity. The dangerous curve can now be avoided by travellers as the tunnel also reduces commute time to 5 to 10 minutes, reducing costs and increasing efficiency for citizens.

14. 50:50 weightage to CET, Class 12 marks for admissions to professional courses

Beginning this academic year, students’ performance in Class 12 and the Common Entrance Test (CET) in Maharashtra will be treated equally when determining the merit list for undergraduate professional and technical courses. The new system will be implemented beginning with the academic year 2023-24. Admissions to courses such as engineering, law, and others have previously been based on CET scores.

15. Smart City Mission projects likely to be completed by June 2023

Smart City Mission, the central government’s flagship development scheme launched in 2015, is set to be completed in 2023. Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited (PSCDCL) is in charge of the project, which includes better infrastructure development, smart street lighting, electric buses, urban greening, accessible parks, and waste management initiatives. The project’s completion will contribute to addressing the metropolitan urban issues of air pollution and reduced green space.

16. PMC shall be diverting 50 crores for road repairs and development, allocating more funds in the future

The project will alter approximately 40 roads to improve road strength and infrastructure in the city. The civic body had previously dug up 115 km of roads to lay pipelines; however, the streets were left in poor condition, with low stability.

17. DigiYatra at Pune airport by March 2023

Pune airport will introduce DigiYatra - a virtual method of facial verification – to reduce congestion outside the airport by early next year as soon as the first round of trials is over. The new system – promises a seamless entry and embarkation process for air passengers. With facial recognition as the sole connecting point, DigiYatra will assist in the automatic processing of all passenger data at various checkpoints, including security checkpoints.

18. Golf club chowk flyover is almost ready, to be operational before the G20 meet in mid-January

Residents of Yerawada along the airport road will soon be able to breathe a sigh of relief because there will be no more traffic jams or long lines at the Golf Course Chowk. The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is rushing to finish the flyover, which has taken over three years to build, so that it can be opened for traffic just before the G 20 meeting in the third and fourth weeks of January 2023. The 655-metre-long flyover was proposed to help reduce traffic on the airport road, which also serves as the “VIP” road.

19. PMC will be handing over 9,900 PM Awas Yojana flats to grantees

Prime Minister Awas Yojana (PMAY) has allocated 9,900 flats for handover to beneficiaries by the end of March 2023. After a lack of response in the lottery, citizens will be awarded the flats on a first-come, first-serve basis, with each flat being around 300 to 330 sq ft in size.

20. 300-meter sample stretch of the riverfront development project to be ready by January 2023

The civic body intends to construct a sample stretch at Bund Garden by January 2023, ahead of the G20 meetings in Pune. As part of the project, walkways and other developments for citizens will be built alongside the stretch. The Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) riverfront development project, which spans 44 kilometres along the Mula-mutha river, has long been criticised.

21. Neo Metro project may find the light of the day by end of 2023

Maha Metro has decided to construct Neo metro along the High-Capacity Mass Transit Route (HCMTR), which will encompass 45 stations in Pune. The project will be allocated after PMC completes the comprehensive project plan. The construction work is scheduled to begin in 2023 and last until 2028-29.

22. Katraj-Swargate Metro route likely to get Centre’s nod

The Swargate-Katraj Metro extension route may be approved by the Centre this year, given that it has already been approved by the PMC and the state government. With municipal elections approaching, the BJP is pushing for a nod from the centre. The 5.4-kilometre Metro underground route plan includes three stations and when completed, will benefit a large number of citizens along the Pune-Satara Road. After receiving approval from the Centre, the project is expected to be completed by April 2027.

23. Work may finally begin on the proposed Balbharati-Paud Road

After 35 years of planning, it is hoped that construction on the Balbharati-Paud Road will begin in 2023. The civic body has now proposed that a portion of the road be elevated to reduce the stretch’s impact on the biodiversity of the Law College slope of Vetal Tekdi. Environmentalists and local residents have opposed the proposed route, despite PMC’s belief that it will provide significant relief to commuters.

(Inputs from Aditi Shekar, Shreemoyee Roychoudhury, Jigar Hindocha, Nadeem Inamdar and Prachi Bari)

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