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Societies to lose land as PMC realigns riverside road project

Following the high court order related to construction of a road running parallel to Mula-Mutha river — from Rajaram Bridge to Warje — the civic body has changed the alignment of the road to prevent crossing the blue line (flood control line of river) and abide by the norms laid down by court-appointed the green tribunals committee.

Now, as per the new plan, the road would pass through premises of the nearby societies and the PMC has already issued notices to the societies informing them about land acquisition procedure that it would be initiating soon. The new road was proposed as an alternative to decongest the Sinhagad Road from Vitthalwadi to Pune-Bangalore Highway (Waraje), which is funded under the JNNURM scheme.

Several environmentalists had objected to the proposal and filed a petition against it during the initial stage of the construction. The high court issued a stay order on the project a couple of months ago, which was revoked only after the PMC assured the court that it would not violate any of the environment norms and refrain from crossing the blue line.

“We have sent notices to societies concerned. We will ensure that the project doesn’t violate guidelines of the green tribunals. Due to realignment, the direction of the road for about 300 metres will change. The road will now approach Sinhagad Road at Hingane, without crossing the blue line,” PMC Additional Engineer Vivek Kharwadkar said.

The PMC commenced the work on the 4.5-km-long stretch a month ago and is already done with the work on three kilometres. As per the PMC’s original plan, the pending one-km-long stretch was crossing the blue line.

Commenting on the issue, social activist Asim Sarode said, “It is the responsibility of the civic body to follow court orders. All environmentalists are inspecting the project. If we find violation of any kind, we will once again move the court. We are not against the project, as it will defiantly help decongest Sinhagad Road. But it should not be constructed at the cost of environment.”  

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