The Maharashtra government on Tuesday gave the go-ahead for the demolition of Savitribai Phule Pune University and E-Square flyovers on Ganeshkhind Road in Pune. The flyovers will be replaced with a 1.5km-long flyover amenable to the alignment of the Shivajinagar-Hinjewadi Metro rail corridor and the High-Capacity Mass Transit Route.
The Pune Municipal Corporation via the standing committee and then the general body would have to approve the demolition. The state urban development department in an order on Tuesday said PMC and Pune Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (PMRDA) will have to share the cost of constructing the new flyover, pegged at around Rs 240 crore.
The authorities plan to demolish the structure during the ongoing lockdown to prevent disruption to traffic. The junction is a conduit to people going to/from Baner, Pashan and Aundh. “The new flyover will be constructed without causing any hassles to the commuters or pedestrians,” Vivek Kharwadkar, city engineer (PMRDA), said.
The decision, however, has irked civic activists and traffic experts, who have raised questions about the utility and need for the new flyover. “Experts from institutes like IIT should be consulted so that the Metro project can be carried out by keeping these flyovers intact,” Vivek Velankar of Sajag Nagrik Manch, a citizens group, said.
“The decision to build the flyover must be justified by way of a comprehensive study, taking into account the comprehensive mobility plan, the development plan (DP) and the Metro and BRTS networks,” Sujit Patwardhan of Parisar organization said.
He said the proposed new flyover does not fit into the overall vision of the city’s long-term traffic plan, which has been laid out in detail in the CMP, approved by the PMC in August 2012. Deputy chief minister and district guardian minister Ajit Pawar, at a meeting held last month, had given in-principal approval for the demolition.