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Road work stalled as PMC fails to put its foot down

Residents say civic body dithering over taking action against encroachers, illegally parked vehicles on Salunke Vihar Rd, leaving widening work in limbo

The work on widening the Salunke Vihar road has been stalled, and if residents in the area are to believed, it is because of the civic body's impotency. They alleged the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), despite issuing demolition notices to illegal encroachers and other housing complexes for misusing the open space, was not taking any action.


Hogging the road: PMC says as it is festival time it will be difficult to
take action against encroachers on Salunke Vihar road. Pic/Ishan Ghosh


The daily pedestrians and commuters, for whom the road has become a dangerous path to tread on, too have been asking for the road to be converted into one-way street, which they said might speed up the flow of
traffic. The road, which is becoming narrower due to haphazard encroachment, had been proposed to be widened by the PMC about four months ago, but was delayed because of the installation work to be carried out by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL).

The 12-feet wide road was to be broadened up to 20 feet for smooth flow of traffic and to make space for pedestrians. The residents from the nearby Dorabjee Enclave and Clover Village who have been intimating Tanaji Lonkar, PMC corporator, and other governing authority over this said though the PMC had been issuing notices in the last three months to the encroachers, threatening demolition, they were unperturbed and tore away the notices.

They said the space outside the Holistic Child Development of India (HCDI) complex and City Pride Residency was being misused for parking of private vehicles and buses from the adjoining Rosary School. "The buildings are simply misusing the space that can be used to widen the road. At times, they put up a bamboo pole to disallow vehicles to be parked in the free space outside the buildings. If the corporation forces them to clear the area, then that might offer space for the widening of the road," said Mohsin Shakir, secretary of Dorbajee Enclave.

Sources said that though the corporation had chalked out a plan to convert the road into one-way street it failed to initiate, as the buses entering from Fakhri Hills was to be diverted from Kondwa-Wanwadi road, creating hassles for commuters. "Even the malfunctioning of street lights has been a cause of accidents as it is impossible to walk in the dark. When issued notices, the occupants of row houses who have created structures outside their apartments even managed to get a stay order from the court to stop demolition," said Poonam Gidwani, a resident.

Bawra, assistant road engineer, PMC said: "We have not received permission from our department to destroy the illegal structures in the area. Also, since it's festival time, it will be difficult to take action. We'll see what can be done after Diwali." Rosary school authority said the management would meet this reporter only after the Diwali vacation. Despite repeated attempts, Lonkar, PMC corporator, remained unavailable for comment.

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