Expanding Pune: Corporator Amol Balwadkar on why Balewadi has the potential to grow exponentially
Amol Ratan Balwadkar is the corporator of Prabhag number 9 who has been consistently working towards the overall development of Balewadi. He played a crucial role in facilitating the implementation of Pune Municipal Corporation’s water pipelines in the area. Excerpts from his conversation with Prachi Bari.Updated: Mar 03, 2018 15:08 IST
Amol Ratan Balwadkar is the corporator of Prabhag number 9 who has been consistently working towards the overall development of Balewadi. He played a crucial role in facilitating the implementation of Pune Municipal Corporation’s water pipelines in the area. Excerpts from his conversation with Prachi Bari.
What sets Balewadi apart from the rest of the city?
Its proximity to the National Highway 4, Baner, Aundh and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation is what makes Balewadi special. The village is surrounded on three sides by the Mula river and has no slums at all. Balewadi gained prominence because of National Highway 4 in 1992, followed by the Commonwealth Games in 2008. The area also has wide main roads. According to the development layout sanctioned by the collector after its incorporation into Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), the development of the area will go ahead according to proposed development plan. We have 51 survey numbers in Balewadi, of which, only 20 per cent area has been developed.
How efficiently is the area developing?
In the past ten years, several residents have opted to settle in Balewadi. Most of them are IT professionals, who work at the IT parks nearby. Entrepreneurs and industrialists are also opting to live in Bungalow societies and spacious large societies in Balewadi. It is a very cosmopolitan crowd and most of the amenities are provided to suit all their needs.
How is the crime rate in the area?
We don’t have illegal constructions in the area and no major crimes have been reported from the area recently. Water supply was a problem and earlier, one could see a line of water tankers at many housing societies. Now, with the new PMC water scheme in place, we don’t need water tankers.
What are the areas you need to improve in?
Frankly speaking, I can’t say that Balewadi has all amenities; it is still a work in progress with a lot things in the pipeline. I have just completed a year as a corporator and I want to look at education and health for all. In terms of educational institutes, schools are very limited. I have seen people spend a lot of money on private schools, so I plan to setup an English medium school for everyone. We have problems relating to electricity and we are working closely with the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) to churn out a working model that can solve the issue. We also need new hospitals. Apart from Jupiter hospital, Colombia Asia and Accord hospitals are planing to open in Balewadi, but these are expensive and not everyone can afford it. Hence, I am planning to build a a 500-bed hospital near Balewadi High Street, which will be constructed by the PMC. Cleanliness is also an issue but we are trying to attend to that and see if we can work out a solution. Smart City will facilitate six parks in the area. In the future, Balewadi will also boast of a transport hub which will connect Metro, buses and cabs. We have received a ₹194 crore funding for developing basic infrastructure such as roads and drainage systems. These will also be implemented soon.