Projects Info | 24 - 30 March, 2008


Low cost housing in Pune has not taken off

From a traditional city with an agro-based economy, Pune has steadily metamorphosed into an industrial and educational centre, crowned with labels like the Detroit of India and the Oxford of the East. Now with Commonwealth Youth Games being hosted later this year the authorities looking to boost the city's infrastructure are already under considerable strain from a growing population. Pravinsingh P Pardeshi, Commissioner, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) spoke exclusively to PROJECTS INFO about the various projects undertaken by the civic body and the challenges being confronted.

Pune is hosting the Commonwealth Youth Games from October 2008. How is the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) preparing for the event? The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is working on concretising the road at Balewadi. Underpasses are being constructed. Roads connecting to the National Highway (NH) are getting widened, beautified. To ensure good traffic control monitors has been planted in various areas. The city is getting a new touch as the mega event is knocking at the door.

What are the various projects PMC is working upon at present and the budget allotted for them?
PMC has allotted Rs 265 crore for various development projects in Pune. This includes building of roads and flyovers, junctions at Sancheti Chowk, Baner, Kalyani Nagar, and water supply to households on a 24/7 basis, storage of water and pipeline transporting water.

Can you give us an overview of the key projects that have been earmarked for the city? The Centre has sanctioned Rs 7,200 crore under JNNURM for various development projects in the city, including Rs 1,400 crore (Rs 14 billion) for the execution of the bus rapid transit (BRT) system, construction of roads for the Commonwealth Youth Games and low-cost housing for people. A number of road and railway over-bridge projects are stuck due to land acquisition. While the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) completed the three-year-old flyover project along Ganeshkhind Road, it also proposed an Rs 1,700- crore Integrated Road Development Project (IRDP) for both Pune and Pimpri- Chinchwad. Other projects such as the ambitious low-cost housing for the poor could not take off due to malpractices in the tender process. Under the JNNURM, PMC plans to construct around 8,000 flats at a cost of Rs 380 crore (Rs 3.8 billion) in three areas. But the PMC has failed to initiate some of these projects while the much-hyped BRT still remains incomplete.

What are the areas in which PMC is lagging behind at this moment?
There should be an improvement in the Public Transport System. We are planning to increase the number of buses and at the same time routes are also being extended. The main motto behind working on this segment is to increase the number of buses so that people use less of their two, three or four wheelers (private vehicles). That in turn will reduce pollution levels and cut down on traffic congestion.

Can you talk of the pressures on the roads?
During the last four decades the population has increased by 4 times, number of vehicle by 87 times and the road length by 5 times. Public transport accounts for only 15 percent of the total. 2 wheelers are 75 percent of total vehicular population. Only 25 percent of road length has width greater than 24m.Only 20 percent of road length has footpaths.50 percent PMC buses are more than 10 years old….

The Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) has been offered as a solution for traffic chaos.How is it doing?

Bus Rapid transit System (BRTS) is currently working in areas like Satara and Solapur Road. The first principle of urban transport policy is to provide mobility to people, not vehicles. A single bus carrying 60 people occupies a fraction of the road space that would be occupied if they all travelled in a car or even on 2-wheelers. Congestion can thus be reduced if more people use a bus and do not have to use their own vehicles. In addition the pollution from a bus per person is less than a 2-wheeler and much less that a car. We must also not forget that fuel is a fast dwindling commodity and the biggest expense for the nation, having cost Rs 1,50,000 crore last year. BRT buses are fitted with GPS, which enables real time information to be transmitted to each bus shelter so that a commuter always knows when the next bus will arrive. Simple to understand maps are displayed so that using the bus becomes easy even for a first time user. The main concern is to reduce the number of private vehicle on roads leading to less traffic congestion and to minimise the journey hours. Parking lots are also being constructed near BRTS stops so that people can come in their private vehicles and board these buses. Separate lanes have been created to run these buses. At the same time plans are going on to introduce CNG buses and auto rickshaws to control pollution levels.

What are various challenges in administering a growing city like Pune?

There are lot of environmental issues like pollution. Public opinions vary and to get everyone's consent on an issue is very tough. It is a challenge at times. Land acquisition is a problem as people are still reluctant to offer their piece of land for any development work. Political consensus on an issue is also crucial.

What has your administration done to make things easy for citizens?
We have started the facility of e-governance by which people can now can get their work done sitting in front of a computer i.e., birth and death registration, property tax dues, property paid details, property details of PMC, online bill, online property tax payment, complaint registration and civic centre collection.

Could you dilate on the role of citizens in developing a city like Pune?

Participation of citizens in development activities of any city is crucial. So it is for Pune. We have various fora like Public Environment Forum, Pune Corporation Forum, which always play a proactive role in the development. The city is being developed based on the needs of the people.

Power Supply 650 MW
Telecom 428,962 Connections
Water Supply
Capacity 650 MLD
Service pop 2.7 million
Rate 200 LPCD
Network Length 2000 km
Size 25mm -1600 mm
Collection 340 MLD
Pumping 122 MLD
Treatment 122 MLD
Municipal Solid Waste Total Generation: 900T
Average per capita Approximately 425 gms /generation,
Collection Efficiency 95 per cent - Zero Garbage Concept
Road Length 650 km.
Transportation Surface, Rail and Air

Power Supply 715 MW
Telecom 500,000 connections
Water Supply Capacity 1500 MLD (For 2025 AD)
Service pop 6.5 million
Drainage Capacity 1200 MLD
Cost of Water Supply & Drainage Project Rs. 10.25 billion
Mass Transit System (L R T) @ Rs 43 billion Ring Rd, Fly-overs
Modern Urban
Development plan for new area, Planning
International Airport, Heliport,
International Networking

Water Supply
In 1997,36 villages around Pune city and cantonment areas got merged in Pune Corporation. In 1998,Kirloskar Consultants did a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for a megawater supply and sewage project. It is in three phases: Phase1-2005,Phase2-2015, Phase3-2025. A plan has been made to decentralise water treatment plans for a long term goal.Four areas have been chalked out as apart of this: Vadgaon, Warje, Holkar, Cantonment.water availability is upto 850 MLD from Khadakvasala dam. The current gross per capita supply is 260 litres. The distribution network covers about 70 percent and the water storage capacity is 27 percent.



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