PUNE: When it comes to executing infrastructure projects in Pune, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) search for the man, who can bring the projects into reality, seems to end with Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.
Gadkari, presently handling Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Ministry in the Narendra Modi government, agreed to take over the multi-crore Chandni Chowk Flyover project worth Rs 220 crore from the PMC and execute it within a record time by his ministry. But this gesture by him made an option available for the ruling BJP in the PMC to push some of the important infrastructure projects through Gadkari for better and faster execution as the civic body has a bad track record of completing development projects in time. Also, the cash-strapped PMC cannot execute the multi-crore project on its own.
Gadkari, who will visit Pune on Sunday, will perform the ground-breaking of the proposed flyover at Chandni Chowk, where five roads meet. He is likely to be requested by PMC's City Improvement Committee Chairman Mahesh Ladkat to help them execute the much delayed High Capacity Mass Transit Route (HCMTR).
Ladkat said the execution of 36-km long elevated HCMTR will need Rs 6,646 crore. The civic body will approach Gadkari seeking funds from the Centre for better and fast execution of the project. “I will persuade Gadkari on the need for the project during his visit to Pune on Sunday,” Ladkat said.
If Gadkari helps the PMC, then the project could be completed within three years, he added.
The HCMTR project was a first part of the 1987 Development Plan of the city. Actual work on the planning of the project was initiated in 1990. However, the project remained on paper only.
Addressing a press conference recently in the city, State Minister for Social Justice Dilip Kamble had said that he would get in touch with Gadkari for the execution of Fatimanagar flyover. The proposed flyover site is located in the Pune Cantonment assembly constituency represented by Kamble. “I am hopeful that Gadkari will help the PMC by funding the project,” Kamble said.
When asked why the civic body relies on Gadkari only when it comes to executing multi-crore infrastructure projects and whether Gadkari is the only efficient minister from Maharashtra, Kamble said all other ministers are also working efficiently.
It was brought to Kamble's notice that the PMC had failed to initiate the solid waste disposal plant at Pimpri-Sandas when Pune's very own Union Minister Prakash Javdekar was the forest minister. He offered no comments on this.