Mutha riverside road on wrong side of blue line

The case harks back to the earlier case of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) riverside road in Vitthalwadi, which the civic body had to eventually demolish for a similar violation, as per a Supreme Court order in the matter.

According to the irrigation department, when the release of river water touches a rate of 60,000 cusecs, it reaches the flood `blue line’, while 1,00,000 cusecs indicate the official red line; both had been drawn by the state department in 2011.

PMC had, in its Draft Development Plan of Old Pune City (20072027), proposed the road from the Rajput Slums to DP Road (passing below the existing Mhatre Bridge), in a bid to ease traffic congestion issues for commuters headed to Karve Road and Sinhagad Road. In fact, the civic body has already developed this road from the Deccan Chowpatty to the slum area, leaving only a 500-metre patch remaining to connect with DP Road. However, the spanner in the works was revealed during a joint survey of the PMC and irrigation department last week -conducted as per the demands of some local corporators -which noted that parts of the proposed road come under the blue line zone.

Now, the city engineer department has placed the file before municipal commissioner Kunal Kumar, along with the survey’s findings and city engineer Prashant Waghmare has also briefed him about the blue line issue. Kumar was mum on the matter, only confirming to Mirror, “We have conducted the survey with the irrigation department along specific areas for this road.“

The civic administration now plans to put the report before the standing committee on Tuesday.

Anil Rane, area corporator from the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), said, “PMC has found that the road comes under the blue line, but we remain positive about its completion. It is required by people facing problems in reaching Sinhagad Road and Karve Road. At present, there is no proper alternative road to connect with these areas. We are consulting with environmentalists to find a proper solution. We want to make no mistakes like PMC did with the Vitthalwadi riverside road in the Sinhagad area.“

The civic body’s earlier bitter experience took place in 2010, on the riverside road from Vitthalwadi to the Pune-Mumbai National Highway (NH-4) bypass -a 2.3-km stretch meant to ease traffic congestion till Sinhagad Road. Almost 65 per cent of road work was completed, spending almost Rs 15 crore, when green activist Sarang Yadwadkar objected to the debris piled up on the riverside, citing harm to the environment and river’s ecology. Subsequently, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) passed an order asking PMC to remove the debris and check the pillar option for an elevated road. This NGT judgement was challenged by PMC in the SC, but the latter maintained the order, telling PMC to remove the debris within six months. It is only last week that the civic body’s road department began removing this debris.
Source : TOI



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