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Anil Shirole, MP, Pune exclusively for HT: Work on Ghorpadi railway overbridge, Chandani chowk flyover to begin soon

While Pune metropolitan region development authority (PMRDA), international airport and Pune Metro were long pending demands for a better, planned and chaotic-free Pune till a few years back, all these ambitious projects gained momentum post-2014.

pune Updated: Jul 12, 2018 14:32 IST
Pune,Chandani chowk,Ghorpadi railway overbridge
Anil Shirole, MP, Pune (Illustration: Shrikrishna Patkar)

Pune is a fast growing city and a preferred destination for many citizens across the country for the job opportunities, education, healthcare services, real estate investment and better quality of life that it offers. It is now known as India’s 7th Metro city and also the most resilient city. Being a true Punekar and member of Parliament (MP) of this great historic city, such recognitions do motivate me to keep on performing my duties for the betterment of Pune.

Pune is changing and it is changing fast. While Pune metropolitan region development authority (PMRDA), international airport and Pune Metro were long pending demands for a better, planned and chaotic-free Pune till a few years back, all these ambitious projects gained momentum post-2014. PMRDA was formed on March 31, 2015, which has opened the doors to the construction of a ring road around the city and paved the way for systematic and fastest development of the city in the future. In a recent development, the government of Maharashtra appointed a Singapore-based consultant firm Surbana Jurong to aid PMRDA in chalking out a detailed master development plan for Pune metropolitan region.

The Surbana Jurong firm has a proven track record in urban planning and I am quite hopeful that assistance from this global firm will help PMRDA to speed up its projects.

When we talk about heritage sites of Pune we often forget the ancient water bodies — Mula and Mutha rivers — that have been flowing through the heart of Pune for centuries together. Incidentally, these two rivers are one of the 302 polluted river stretches of the country identified by the central pollution control board (CPCB). Hence, clean rivers was a top agenda in my manifesto during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and I am glad to share with you that our government is taking concrete steps in this regard as well.

Discharge of untreated domestic wastewater into the rivers due to inadequate sewage system is the major reason behind the pollution of Mula-Mutha. In a major step towards pollution abatement of our rivers, a loan agreement worth ₹990 crore was signed on January 13, 2016, with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) with the aim of substantially reducing river pollution by January 2022.

A UK-based consultancy firm, Pell Frischmann, has been appointed as the consultant for the project. The aim of this project is to improve the water quality and ecology of the rivers by augmenting sewage collection systems and sewage treatment facilities. The work has started in Baner area. Once the project is completed by 2022, the total sewage treatment plant (STP) capacity available in Pune will be 873 million litres per day (MLD), which will be sufficient to cater to sewage generation for the 2027.

I have no doubt in my mind that once the Mula-Mutha rejuvenation project takes momentum we can actually work out on beautification of the riverfront and also on developing waterways on these river bodies.

I would like to inform you that a survey has been carried out in this regard along a length of 44 kms on both sides of the rivers and it is proposed that the beautification of the riverfront would be carried out at four different locations in the city.

Also, a few months back I wrote a letter to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis regarding the inclusion of Mula-Mutha rivers in the national waterways plan. On the directions of the chief minister, the state government made a proposal in this regard and sent it to the union ministry of state transport, and the union government has accepted the proposal.

The waterways project will be sanctioned by the central government in the coming monsoon parliamentary session. I sincerely feel that development of inland waterways in Pune as a part of intra-city public transport system and the national waterways project will certainly improve the transport system of Pune.

At the same time in public transport, Pune Metro is going to play a major role in the near future. The construction work of the first two lines under the first phase of the metro project is going on speedily and I have been constantly keeping an eye on the daily progress. Also, the third route from Shivajinagar to Hinjewadi detailed project report (DPR) would be ready in a few months.

Regarding other infrastructure development activities like the Ghorpadi ROB (railway overbridge) and Chandani chowk flyover, I would like to inform you that the Pune Municipal Corporation is working on it on a war footing and the work will commence shortly. Regarding the Lulla Nagar flyover, the work is in progress and the flyover should be completed in a few months.

Pune city and region has done well in implementing various government schemes for the welfare of the underprivileged. Providing LPG connections to BPL (below poverty line) community under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) is one such ambitious scheme and I am glad to inform that till date we have released 4,216 LPG connections under PMUY in Pune city. At the same time providing piped natural gas connections to urban population is also on our top agenda and Maharashtra Natural Gas Ltd. (MNGL) is doing a great job on this front. Till date, MNGL has covered over one lakh households across Pune, out of which many have already fixed pipe gas connections at their residences.

I do agree that there are several other civic issues in Pune that need immediate attention and action. With the BJP government at the Centre, state and PMC, I can assure you all that these issues will get special attention and specific action in the due course of time. After all, ‘Samasyamukt Pune’ is what we all are striving for and I am sure that with the help and active participation of all Punekars we shall definitely succeed in it.

First Published: Jul 12, 2018 14:32 IST