Viman Nagar locals on rocky road with landlord-PMC fight

The 200-metre stretch has no streetlights and is peppered with potholes. As the landowner and civic officials bicker over compensation, residents are desperate
An ongoing tussle between the landowner and the Pune Municipal Corpora tion (PMC) has left resi dents of Konark Nagar housing society and its surrounding areas in the heart of Viman Nagar in a major quandary.A busy 200-metre road running between CCD Chowk to Gangapuram Chowk is lying in pathetic condition, with deep potholes and halfcompleted concretisation. Fourwheelers and two-wheelers alike find it difficult to navigate the road. In fact, the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) has diverted its usual bus route off this road, much to residents’ dismay.

It all began in August when the tar road was excavated by PMC to be reconstructed with concrete. However, despite having no compensation plan in place, the landowner suddenly demanded to be recompensed. Unable to come to a solution, PMC stopped work, leaving the road, and residents, in limbo.

Over 700 residents of Konark Nagar have been following up the issue with PMC’s road department.Some of them have even attempted to convince the landowner to make temporary arrangements for the road, but in vain.

Surrounded by housing societies and commercial complexes, this one stretch has resulted in a dismal hit on businesses in the area as well.

Speaking to Pune Mirror, Nanaji Raina, a resident of Konark Nagar and member of the Viman Nagar Senior Citizens’ Committee, said, “It is impossible to even walk on that stretch. Buses have stopped coming to the area and auto rickshaws have changed the location of the stand.All this is hugely inconvenient, especially for elderly people. At the age of 72, how are people like me to fight such a situation?“ Rajendra Thakur, another resident, said, “The absence of streetlights makes the area looks haunted. We are constantly afraid of being robbed or mugged on that stretch after sunset. What kind of a smart city we are going to make in such conditions?“ Rahul Shirsat, who lives in nearby Kundan Plaza society, said, “The PMC should have thought of the consequences before starting work on the road. Every yard yields deep pits and potholes making it dangerous for vehicles. It is the responsibility of the civic body to apply stringent laws in such condition. Instead, PMc is simply citizens’ patience.“

Rajendra Raut, chief engineer, incharge of PMC’s road department, said, “The tussle is between relatives of the landlord and is the major cause of the dismal condition of the road.They are not willing to come up with a proper plan of compensation. A civil suit is also pending with the estate department, making the task more complicated. We are ready to pay the compensation , but there needs to be unanimity over the mode of payment.“

Raut further claimed that they had also tried to repair the road with temporary arrangements, but the trucks were sent back. “We are trying to convince the landlord to discuss and issue and resolve it as soon as possible,“ he said.

Rubbishing these claims, Dattatray Deokar, the landlord, said, “The PMC is not responding to our proposal of compensation. How are we responsible for the dismal condition of the road? We are ready to co-operate with the authorities, but they are not listening to us. We are demanding compensation in the form of FSI, TDR and cash the PMC is merely using delay tactics.“

Anant Waghmare, general manager of PMPML, was vague regarding the bus route, saying, “Considering the local situation, the decision to divert the route may have been taken after the survey. However, I will check for the exact reason and issue orders accordingly,“ he said.

Subhash Gaikwad, PMPML spokesperson, said, “The buses plying on the particular routes belong to contractors, so we will inquire as to the reason for changing it. He cannot take such a decision on his own.“

Mayuresh Patil, who travels daily from Viman Nagar to Pune Station by bus, said, “We have to walk one kilometre to Datta Mandir Chowk to catch the bus. The route change has not been officially communicated to us, either.“

Source : Mirror