Disregarding the Centre’s guidelines, authorities have not included the construction of two grade separators in the city — one was recently opened to the public while the other is slated to come up soon — in the Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) approved by the General Body last month.
According to the guidelines, projects that come up with central assistance should be part of the CMP. The recently inaugurated grade separator at the Sancheti Hospital junction and the one proposed at the SG Barve Chowk have both received central assistance but are not mentioned in the CMP.
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) received Rs 24 crore under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), which is a central scheme, for the two grade separator projects.
Civic chief’s defence
On the issue of not following the guidelines, Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Pathak stated that the CMP was a general study and need not be followed in toto. “The CMP gives guidelines for city development, but actual implementation should be according to the city conditions,” Pathak said. “In other cities also it (CMP) has not been followed.” The General Body of the PMC approved the CMP last month and also agreed to incorporate it in the Development Plan (DP) of the city. The CMP, which deals with overall development of the public transport system in the city, was passed by the Standing Committee in June 2008.
Its implementation was expected by the end of 2008, but it was approved only last month after in-depth discussions on it by corporators. Senior civic activist Major General S C N Jathar (Retired) said the grade separator projects were fully funded by the Centre and their non-inclusion in the CMP was akin to haphazard development.
“This is the surest way to mess up the traffic and transportation plan of Pune. Many projects in the city are implemented hastily without proper planning and survey, and grade separators is one such project,” Jathar said. “Mahesh Pathak is not fully aware of this picture. The projects fully funded by the PMC may not be part of CMP, but the recent grade separator is fully funded by the Central Government. In this case the PMC should not go beyond the CMP.”
Taking issue to Delhi
Calling the non-inclusion of the grade separators project in the CMP a gross violation on the part of the PMC, Jathar said the statement made by Pathak was irresponsible and activists would now raise the matter with the Union Ministry of Urban Development.