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Expanding Pune: Water crisis slows Undri’s development

Undri joined the PMC in 2017, but the immense possibilities to achieve its complete growth potential is being drowned by a drought-like scenario.

pune Updated: Feb 17, 2018 16:40 IST
Nadeem Inamdar
Nadeem Inamdar
Hindustan Times, Pune
undri,expanding pune,water scarcity
A tanker fills the water tank of a residence in Undri.(Shankar Narayan/HT PHOTO)

As with many other fringe areas of Pune, an acute water crisis has gripped the densely populated Undri suburb in south east Pune.

Home to more than 35,000 people, largely middle class IT professionals, retired defence personnel; serving and retired government officials and local villagers, Undri is heavily dependent on water tankers which supply water to large residential societies besides smaller societies in every nook and cranny.

Undri was a small gram panchayat in the beginning and later metamorphosed into a full-grown residential and commercial hub. The villagers had opposed its merger in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) in 1997 and successfully got it demerged in 2002. The villagers sold their agricultural land to developers paving way for complete urbanisation of Undri village.

The village, which came under the administrative control of the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) since the last two years, was once again finally merged in the civic limits by the state government order in 2017. However, the area still does not have corporators since the process of having the elections here ought to take more time.

The area has the unique advantage of being well connected to various key suburbs, including Pune city, through various local and interstate highways and expressways. Undri, being in close proximity to Mohammadwadi and NIBM annexe, has a dense green forest cover protected by reserve forest regulations.

The area has a truly cosmopolitan culture due to huge influx of residents who migrated from different parts of the country and settled in Undri.

According to prominent real estate developers, the area is likely to achieve the complete growth potential after it receives 24X7 water supply under the Pune Municipal Corporation.

Sachin Bhandari, chief executive officer of VTP Realty, one of the prominent real estate developers in Undri, says that the area is a preferred place of investment for the middle class and is becoming a hotspot for residential property investments for other types of buyers.

Bhandari said that the area needs good water and road infrastructure in place to further the process of development. “Undri is the most accessible location and affordable budget homes are easily available for the buyers. The main road which leads to Undri chowk needs to be widened at the earliest as there is heavy traffic during the peak hours. The area is growing, but the growth rate of infrastructure is sluggish ,” he said.

Former sarpanch Shweta Ghule, who has been overseeing the infrastructural development in the area during the gram panchayat days of Undri, says that the area has a lot of potential to grow but the development has been slowed down due acute water crisis.

Shantanu Pandit of Nyati Residential Society says that there is a need to start a citizens forum to urgently address the problems affecting Undri. “Residents are raising their civic issues on Twitter and WhatsApp, but we need a more effective platform to address our long-term grievances, especially the escalating water crisis,” he says.

Leading developers like Kolte Patil and Associates, VT Palresha Real Estate Group, Kumar Builders, Goel Ganga Group, Amit Enterprises, Godrej Properties and other prominent real estate developers, have their projects in the area.

First Published: Feb 17, 2018 16:32 IST