MahaMetro, which has been asked by Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari to execute Jai Stambh Square traffic improvement scheme, plans to partially raze the Station Road flyover next month. However, there are 165 shops below the flyover and opposition by affected shopkeepers may stall the plan.
Earlier, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) had directed the MahaMetro to first rehabilitate the shopkeepers and then go in for the demolition. A MahaMetro Official said, “There are 72 shopkeepers whom we have to rehabilitate. We have already constructed 40 temporary shops near the railway station and another 20 will be ready by the end of the month. Once the shopkeepers shift to the new shops, we will start demolishing the flyover from one side,” he added.
The official said that the remaining shopkeepers wanted monetary compensation instead of shops. “It is yet to be decided as to who will pay the money, MahaMetro or NMC,” he further said. MahaMetro has plans to construct a big commercial complex to house the shops. It will be connected to the railway station by a foot overbridge.
MahaMetro will also construct a multi-level parking near the complex. City buses will use the ground floor while upper floors will be used for parking four-wheelers and two-wheelers. The flyover has to be demolished as MahaMetro wants to construct a six-lane road in front of the railway station. As defence land is required for the road, it will first construct a four-lane road and when the land becomes available another two lanes will be added.
The shopkeepers have two unions. The first union has owners of 72 shops, which existed before the flyover was constructed. They were allotted the shops by NMC at a cost of Rs 8 lakh each. These shops are located in front of railway station entrances. The other union has 93 shopkeepers having their establishments away from the entrances. They got the shops by paying Rs 10.20 lakh.
The 93 shopkeepers don’t want new shops, but monetary compensation. They had met Gadkari, who agreed to their demand. They were supposed to meet mayor Sandip Joshi in this regard today ( Thursday) morning.
Nilesh Khorgade, leader of these shopkeepers, said, “We will be allotted shops at the backside and hence we won’t get any customers. Even now, we don’t get many customers as our establishments are at a distance from the entrance. We, therefore, want cash.”
The other set of shopkeepers are not ready to shift to the temporary shops. “There are no drains and water connections in the complex. Most of the shops here are eateries. How will we function without drain and water?
NMC must construct the commercial complex first and then demolish the flyover,” said Ramu Wankhede. Another shopkeeper said that he would approach the court if he was forced to shift to the temporary shops.