Road-widening plans of PWD to bolster industry
As the proposal of widening the Chakan-Talegaon Road -, which is also a part of National Highway 4 - from the current two lanes to six lanes for Rs 1,125 crore is still pending with the state government, Public Works Department (PWD) has now sent another proposal to widen the Pune-Pirangut-Paud-Mulshi Road from the present one lane to four lanes
Considering the increasing traffic snarls, PWD has decided to expand this road, which connects National Highway 17, passing through the Konkan region, and reaching Kochi in Kerala. The proposal of land acquisition in this regard would be sent to the state government within a month to approve a budget of Rs 750 crore in the upcoming winter session of the assembly.
“The decision to widen roads is usually taken once the traffic exceeds the limit of 30,000 Passenger Car Units (PCUs). This specific 50-km stretch has already crossed that threshold and therefore even if we have to shell out more money from our pockets to acquire the land, we can’t stop the development works in the region,” said superintendent engineer of PWD (Pune division), DG Malekar.
The state government has to spend four times more money to acquire the land than its original cost after the Land Acquisition Bill was recently passed in the Parliament. While speaking about the other benefits of widening this stretch, Malekar said that it would increase the tourism and industrial activity.
“It is becoming impossible to have more transportation on this section with a single lane, however. After the expansion, the movement of tourists as well as industrial growth of the Konkan region would increase much more than the current rate of the region,” added Malekar. The entire road-widening project would be initiated on build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis.
“The major benefit of the road-widening would go to the food processing industry of the Konkan region, which would develop tremendously with the increase in conveyance,” said Director-General of Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture Anant Sardeshmukh.
Rs 750 cr
The estimated cost of widening of the Pune-Pirangut-Paud-Mulshi Road