161.73-km ring road project does not move an inch

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has been pushing for the ring road project aimed at decongesting the roads in Pune city and Pimpri-Chinchwad bursting at the seams with increasing traffic. On the ground, work on the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) proposal to set up the 161.73-km ring road at a cost of Rs 10,408 crore has not been progressing.

"There were no meetings in recent times to take the proposal forward," said officials from the administration.

Only the MSRDC and PWD are involved in the project and officials of the divisional commissionerate have not been kept in the loop. The MSRDC is to construct the ring road to decongest roads in Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad and other areas in the region.

Former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar had followed up the project and said it would help both the areas.

"There has been some delay, even as the CM is keen on speeding it up,''added another official.

The cost of Rs 10,408 crore includes construction cost of Rs 7,560 crore and land acquisition cost of Rs 2,848 crore. The six-lane road would have two service lanes, 7.5 km of elevated road and 12 km of tunnels. The road would connect fringes of Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, and connect Kesnand, Lonikand, Tulapur, Murkal, Alandi, Dehu, Kiwale, Wakad, Baner, Pashan, Chandni chowk, Katraj, Undri Pisoli, Holkarwadi, Wadki etc.

It was expected to take care of traffic towards Solapur, Ahmednagar, Nashik and Yavat. It was also decided that cost of the road could be recovered using additional floor space index (FSI) which would render toll unnecessary.

An earlier meeting to discuss the project had stressed completion of the road in the 1987 Development Plan where two internal ring roads-one passing through Peth areas and the other through fringe areas-were proposed to be completed. The plan includes a High Capacity Mass Transit Route (HCMTR) connecting areas between Bopodi and Hadapsar and the objective was to reduce congestion. The civic body has been unable to go ahead owing to hurdles in land acquisition.

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