Maha-Metro begins digging in Rs 27 crore Pimpri BRTS corridor; says it’s temporary
The Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) corridor from Nigdi to Dapodi, constructed at a cost of Rs 27 crore, has come under threat of being a waste of public money due to overlapping construction work undertaken by Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (Maha-Metro) for the metro line in Pimpri-Chinchwad.
Maha-Metro has begun construction work at Kharalwadi and Morwadi in the BRTS corridor, thus, preventing BRTS operations which are yet to start in the section.
Ramnath Subramaniam, Maharashtra Metro executive chairman, reacting to the incident, said that Maha-Metro had previously planned to construct pillars on the footpath in Kharalwadi, but due to the drainage plans underneath the area, the plan had to be changed and the construction site was shifted to the BRTS lane.
The BRTS dedicated corridor has been dug up at various places in Morwadi. At Morwadi, Maha-Metro has started digging from the wall of the grade separator. Around ten to twelve feet of BRTS and service roads will now be acquired by the Metro to construct pillars.
According to Subramaniam, digging in the BRTS corridor is a temporary measure.
“We have no plans to occupy the BRTS lane. We need more space for the construction of the metro pillars and that is why we are using that space. After we complete our work, we will repair all the damaged corridors,” he added.
He said that permissions have been taken from the civic body for the construction work in the BRTS corridor. However, this was refuted by a Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) official.
Vijay Bhojane, spokesperson of PCMC’s BRT cell, said,“We have ordered Maha-Metro to stop construction work in the BRTS corridor immediately since it is being carried out without permission. Maha-Metro had approached us for permission, but we have ordered them to stop all construction work. As far as damage to the BRTS corridor is concerned, the Maha-Metro is responsible and will repair all the damages.”
BRTS bus service, a crucial part of the public transport system in PCMC, has been waiting for six years to become fully operational. The service was halted by the Bombay High Court due to a stay order on grounds of poor safety measures. The civic body addressed the safety issues to have the stay order vacated, following an audit by a team from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B). The audit had laid out potential safety issues while also recommending solutions to the problem.
The municipal corporation had submitted a report to the high court in March and the BRTS bus service from Nigdi to Dapodi is expected to start after the court’s approval.
According to Maha-Metro officials, 40 pillars are to be constructed from Kharalwadi to Morwadi. Till date Maha-Metro has completed the foundation for 105 pillars and has completed the construction of 70 pillars in the Pimpri-Swargate route.