Pune: Nitin Gadkari hopes to complete crucial Chandni Chowk flyover work in a year

The bridge was planned to ensure smooth flow of traffic in any direction via Chandni Chowk as the area was too congested.

Almost three years after laying the foundation stone for the construction of a multi-level flyover at Chandni Chowk to resolve the traffic problems at the junction that connects major areas of the city, Union Road Transport and Highway Minister Nitin Gadkari said that the problems of land acquisition have been solved and plans would be to complete the already delayed project within a year.

Chandni Chowk is the main junction that connects Bavdhan, NDA, Pashan, Mulshi road, Paud road, Mumbai-Banglore bypass and witnesses heavy traffic due to its connectivity to the Information Technology Park at Hinjewadi via the highway. The bridge was planned to ensure smooth flow of traffic in any direction via Chandni Chowk as the area was too congested.

 

In a bid to fast-track the process – delayed due to a failure in acquiring the land – the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has handed over around 99.5 per cent of the land required for the Rs 900 crore project. However, the delay has extended the deadline for the work’s completion from 2021 to 2023.

The PMC had proposed the multi-level flyover to ease the traffic situation in the area but the project was likely to get delayed due to its high construction cost. Thus, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) offered to implement the project at its own cost, while the PMC was supposed to make available the required land.

However, the PMC took a long time to acquire the land due to a shortage of funds to compensate the owners of the respective properties on the land, ranging from a multi-storey building, a few bungalows, and open land plots owned by private and government agencies. Following this, the state government led by the then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis provided Rs 185 crore to the PMC for the land acquisition as a special case to avoid any further delays in its implementation.

“The contractor for the project was given the work order to complete the project, 910 days which is 30 months from the start, by 2021. However, there were a lot of problems faced in land acquisition for the project. Now, the revised deadline to complete the project is 2023. We are exploring the possibility of carrying out the project work throughout the day and completing it in a year’s time as it would reduce the problems of citizens due to construction,” said Gadkari.

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“The authorities have been asked to create a traffic diversion plan for faster implementation of the project,” he added.

Speaking on the issue, Mayor Murlidhar Mohol assured that the work on the project would be fast-tracked. “The PMC has handed over 99.5 per cent of land required for the multi-level flyover at Chandni chowk to NHAI in January this year. Thus, the work would speed up now,” said Mohol.

He said the overall project cost is Rs 900 crore out of which Rs 465.22 crore will be spent by PMC and the state government has provided Rs 185.43 crore to PMC for acquiring the land.

“A total of 18.973 hectare land needed to be acquired for the project,” said Mohol, adding that the PMC has acquired 131 of the 138 properties so far. “The problems in land acquisition and then Covid-19 outbreak delayed the implementation of the project, Mohol said.

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