Even as citizens continue to suffer from issues related to acute traffic jams and rising vehicle population, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) faces an uphill task of land acquisition of barely 100 metres of land stretch for 80 roads, due to which 280 km of roads could not be constructed as per the old Development Plan (DP).
Most of the roads are located in Wagholi, Hadapsar, Bibvewadi, Dhayari, Aundh, Warje, Karvenagar and Kothrud areas of the city. PMC claims that it does not have the requisite funds to pay the land owners who demand cash compensation as per the market price in lieu of their land.
PMC prefers to give increased Transfer of Development Right (TDR) and additional Floor Space Index (FSI) but the land owners have been adamant over cash compensation which has made land acquisition difficult during the past one decade.
According to officials, the PMC had enlisted the services of an advisor cum consultant to identify the missing links in the road network infrastructure development project. The consultant’s report has expressed grave concerns which shows that though most roads are ready to commute , a mere 100 to 200 metres of land remains unacquired.
PMC commissioner Vikram Kumar said, “Priority will be given to develop those road projects where land acquisition of 100 metres is pending, due to which 77 km long road infrastructure can be ready. The PMC is taking a lead in joining the missing links of these roads to decongest the city.”
According to the road department, though new roads have been proposed in the development plan, their construction has hit a roadblock due to land acquisition issues. The preference of landowners to receive cash instead of TDR or additional FSI has stalled the projects. The civic body constructs a part of the road, leaves the portion which is to be acquired and then proceeds to construct the road ahead of the land acquisition plot. The land acquisition does not take place for many years and the road remains merely on paper.
According to civic rights activist Qaneez Sukhrani, there are 15 locations on Ahmednagar Road where acquisition is pending as per the 1987 DP. “The end-to-end width should be the same and the full 7 km road from Parnakuti to Wagholi is yet to see land acquisition. Land has to be first acquired and then developed. Why is the PMC is reversing the legal process and creating hurdles for the citizens which is causing traffic jams?”