NGOs write to state, MP against HCMTR

All non-governmental organisations strongly objected to the 34 km High Ca pacity Mass Transit Route (HCMTR) initi tative and have sent a complaint to the state government regarding the same.Their demand includes a realignment of the route by conducting a feasibility survey.

As per the Development Plan (DP), the route is supposed to be dedicated to public transport only but the proposal allows all private vehicles on it. Activists claimed that the project will be another scam by the PMC for the benefits of the builder lobby. The organisations, Nagarik Chetna Manch, Sajag Nagarik Manch, Surajya Sangharsha Samiti and Pedestrian First, have collectively sent a letter to the state government and MP. “The proposal is in the DP; but till now Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has not opened the project for objections and suggestions. The state government has not approved of it yet. Before getting a sanction, they have given permissions for private vehicles,“ said SCN Jathar, founder of Nagarik Chetana Manch.

HCMTR is a ring route proposed in the 1987 development plan (DP) of the city that was drawn up with the help of private agencies and supposed to be used only for public transport. After 27 years, the standing committee approved the project in the first week of November. It is sanctioned under the N-2-4-6 DC rule in which contractors or developers will get additional TDR for road development. It will be developed under the public private partnership (PPP) model.

“PMC has already reserved the patches of land for the HCMTR alignment. They have already developed a town planning scheme for the project, which clearly shows that it is for the benefit of the builder lobby. The defence officials have also refused to provide their part of the land. It will not be possible to provide an 80-feet road, considering the space limitation,“ said Vijay Kumbhar, an RTI activist.

“Considering all these points there is need for realignment of this project. PMC should conduct a feasibility survey and also an environment assessment. We have demanded the preparation of a detailed project report, otherwise it will be another failure like BRT,“ said Vivek Velankar, founder of Sajag Nagarik Manch.

Deputy mayor, Aba Bagul, who had initiated this project, said, “The project was proposed in 1987 DP; so there is no need for suggestions or objections.It is not mentioned anywhere that the route should be dedicated only for public transport. We have proposed a change in the alignment of the route before the general body. But, there is no problem of land acquisition for the rest of the route. We have discussed this issue with the forest as well as the irrigation department. The proposal is in its final stage and will be passed by the state government soon.“

MP Anil Shirole said, “There are many objections about the project. I will study the proposal and discuss the issue with the stakeholders.“
Source : TOI

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