Much before the idea of Pune metro rail service germinated, the civic administration had approved a 21.55-km six-lane elevated Shivane-Kharadi link road in 2007 to connect the east and west parts of the city. It was considered as a solution to the daily traffic woes on this route and an alternative to the proposed metro rail project.
A file photo of the artist’s impression of the proposed elevated road
Five years on, the project is still on paper and the authorities are not sure as to when it will see light of the day. Also, thanks to the dilly-dallying of the civic administration, the project’s estimated cost has shot up 12 times as compared to the original one.
The cost of the project in 2008 was around Rs 105 crore. In 2010 it increased to Rs 307 crore. Now, it has climbed to a whopping Rs 1,233.15 crore.
The project was to be executed in three phases. In the first phase the civic body had planned to build the road from Shivane to Mhatre Bridge, Mhatre Bridge to Sangamwadi in the second and finally from Sangamwadi to Kharadi.
The road would have allowed commuters from eastern parts like Koregaon Park, Lohegaon and Kharadi, to reach central parts of the city faster.
Similarly, the road would have provided a direct link from Kothrud, Karve Nagar and Deccan Gymkhana areas to Kharadi, Chandannagar, Wadgaonsheri and Nagar road.
Originally, the project was earmarked in the 1987 development plan as a riverside road. The estimated width of the proposed six-lane road is 30 metres. The road would run parallel to the banks of Mula and Mutha rivers.
Speaking to Mirror, Additional City Engineer and Traffic Planner Shriniwas Bonala, who is project in-charge, said, “First it was decided to lay a tar road. Later, the standing committee decided to build a concrete road and the cost escalated to Rs 1,233.15 crore.”
Bonala added, “Due to hike in SR (Schedule Rate which is increase in the cost of raw material) the cost went up. A DPR is ready and the process of land acquisition is going on.”
Dr K K Gokhale, former managing director, Konkan Railway Corporation Limited and former official special secretary, Government of India, said, “As far as I am concerned, even if we consider the hike in district schedule rate (DSR) the cost of the project should not exceed Rs 600 crore.”
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