PUNE With the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) giving its nod to implement a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the defence ministry and Pune Cantonment, the long pending work of the railway overbridge at Ghorpadi is expected to begin soon. The general body of the PMC, on Friday, gave its permission to the municipal administration to implement an MoU with the defence ministry for acquiring almost three acres of land from them and to sanction an appropriate compensation as suggested by both parties. The railway overbridge at Ghorpadi is one of the most awaited and crucial projects owing to traffic congestion at the spot. With areas like Mundhwa, Kharadi and Kalyaninagar developing fast and attracting more population, the already existing traffic snarl is expected to worsen in the future.Mundhwa, Kharadi and Kalyaninagar are connected to the main city by a narrow road which goes through Ghorpadi. While some area of the Ghorpadi village falls under the purview of Pune Cantonment, the remaining part is owned by the ministry of defence . As the Pune-Miraj Railway line and the Pune-Solapur Railway line is barely 700 metres from Ghorpadi, owing to the heavy traffic, huge traffic jams are common at the railway crossing as its gates are closed frequently to facilitate the movement of trains.Local residents, political leaders and social welfare groups have often raised this issue and had conveyed their problems to the PMC. Following this, in 2008, the civic body had initiated a project to construct a railway overbridge over the Pune-Miraj Railway line and Pune-Solapur Railway line. But the project was later delayed as it failed to get permissions from the departments that owned the land. The parliamentary committee had also visited the site in 2013 to sort out the issue but failed to get any results. With the implementation of the MoU, the ministry of defence, railway ministry, Pune Cantonment, Maharashtra government and Pune Municipal Corporation are now involved in the project.MP Anil Shirole and MP Shivajirao Adhalrao had earlier taken an interest in the project and had requested the then defence minister Manohar Parrikar to sort out the long pending issue. Following this, Parrikar took interest in the project and called for a meeting in Pune to come up with a solution and instructed the defence ministry to give a ‘No Objection Certificate’ as well as the required land for the project. Opposition party leaders in PMC, Chetan Tupe and Arvind Shinde, objected to the MoU stating that the PMC was planning to erect an officers’ quarters on a piece of private-owned land. They said that the move was wrong and that PMC should erect quarters only on the defence ministry’s land and instructed the PMC administration to add this as a clause to the MoU. Quotes MP Anil Shirloe : It’s a long pending issue. The then defence minister Manohar Parrikar had taken interest in the issue and had instructed the defence ministry to give a NoC as well the required land for the railway overbridge. He had even conducted a meeting in Pune for the same. Now, it is the PMC’s responsibility to speed up the work. Srinivas Bonala (Traffic Planner and Project in charge): The PMC general body is in favour of a MoU with the concerned agencies. Now, the PMC will prepare a detailed project report and will start the work very soon. PMC is getting a total of three acres of land from other agencies for erecting the railway overbridge. K H Momin (Traffic Warden at Ghorpadi railway gate): The new railway overbridge will help in sorting out the rampant traffic congestion at Ghorpadi. As the number of trains have increased, traffic has to be stopped every few minutes. Once the gate opens, two-wheelers flout lane discipline and create a traffic snarl.