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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Development plan for new area, Planning
International Airport, Heliport,
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