‘Koregaon Park Lanes Are Not The Osho Ashram’s Private Property’

(Pune Mirror – September 29, 2010)

Residents of Koregaon Park claim Ashram is installing boom barricades on lane No 1 and 2, illegally. Osho authorities say it is for ‘general security’. Police say it is not their job to give permissions, PMC denies giving nod

If the ‘illegal’ barricades come up here, the public won’t get free access to Lane No 1. Marking made for installing the permanent barricadesThe police might have bowed down to popular demand and agreed to open up lane number one to the public in Koregaon Park since September 10, but there’s a larger obstacle that’s threatening to shut out people from lane numbers one and two.

Local residents are alleging that the Osho Commune International authorities are in the process of installing boom gates at the entrance to both these lanes, without taking permission from the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) or the police.

The ashram authorities have reportedly sent request letters to the PMC and the cops, they have nevertheless started installing the permanent barricades on a public road. They say they are putting up these barricades for ‘general security’.

Local resident and former corporator, Jaydeo Randhave, said, “Lane number one links the government boys’ hostel, railway quarters and Mahalakshmi temple to the North Main Road.

Lane number two links Kasturba Gandhi Vidyalaya and Sant Gadage Maharaj School to North Main Road. Both lanes connect to Rajiv Gandhi Nagar and Sant Gadage Maharaj Colony also.

However, the Ashram authorities are installing the barricades without any reason or permission. The roads are not their private property. The locals are using these roads for the past 40 years. If they continue to build the barricades, we will start an agitation.”

Hanumant Joshi, a visually-impaired student of Manipal University said, “I use this road as a shortcut to reach our college from the Government Boys’ Hostel.

If the lane number one is closed, I will have to take a longer route. Without anybody’s help, I can’t cross the road. The lane should not be closed. In fact, one of my classmates was injured last month because of the barricades.”

Zonal commissioner Bhanudas Mane said, “We have not given permission to build barricades to the Ashram authorities. Local residents have some grievances over the issue.

The Ashram did send us some letters in this regard; but we have also given our recommendation to the police, mentioning the residents’ opposition to the closing of the lanes.”

Mayor Mohan Singh Rajpal said, “I have sent a letter to the PMC Commissioner in this regard and also requested him not to shut both the lanes. These lanes are very useful to students and residents.”

Suhas Nadgauda, inspector-incharge, Bund Garden police station, said, “We have provided enough security to Osho Ashram and Chabad house.We did get a letter from the Ashram asking for permission to install boom gates on both the lanes. It is not our concern as we don’t have the authority to give such permission. So we forwarded this letter to the PMC, which is the right authority. We have not asked for any such gate to be installed for the Ashram’s security.”

Maa Sadhana, spokesperson for the Osho Ashram, said, “We have started installing the boom barricades for the general security of the Ashram. There is no opposition from the residents. Everybody has to take the issue of security seriously. About taking prior permission from the PMC, I cannot speak on the issue.”

Reducing Construction Premium Along BRTS – PCMC

PUNE: Following the controversy over the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) general body’s decision to reduce premium for constructions along the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) corridors in Pimpri-Chinchwad, municipal commissioner Ashish Sharma said on Monday that the civic administration will give its opinion to the state government which would be in the “best interests” of the municipal body.

Sharma said, “The PCMC had approved a proposal for densification of corridors along the BRTS route. It had also received the state government’s approval for it. This was appreciated even by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). But now, the PCMC’s motive behind the corridor densification will be diluted if the demand for reduction in the premium charges is implemented. The premium charges must be linked to a dynamic factor and not a static factor,” he said.

Sharma said suggestions and objections will be invited from citizens regarding the revised proposal approved at the general body to reduce premium charges. The proposal will then be sent to state government for approval. “Citizens can give their suggestions and objections when the PCMC invites them,” he said.

At the general body meeting held on August 20, a proposal was approved to cancel the levy of premium charges as approved by the state government, and instead charge premium as per ready reckoner rates.

Shiv Sena corporator Seema Savale has alleged that the suggestion was not properly read so there was confusion among the corporators.

Savale in her letter pointed out that the PCMC will be developing the BRTS roads and feeder routes with a total length of 97 km.

She further said that as per the earlier premium policy approved by the state government, the PCMC will get premium charges of around Rs 5,000 crore.

However, if the proposal to reduce the premium charges is implemented, the PCMC will get only Rs 1,250 crore, suffering a loss of Rs 3,750, she said.

Meanwhile, Savale has demanded that the powers of the city engineer, and deputy city engineer to give building permission, development permission, building commencement certificates, should be granted to senior officials of the town planning department. Savale said the government has issued directives in this regard.

When asked for his comments, Sharma said there is no need to withdraw the powers granted to the city engineer. “We have checked with the Pune Municipal Corporation, where these permissions are given by city engineer and deputy city engineer and not by the town planning department,” he added.

A Home In Pimpri-Chinchwad – The Best Choice For Your Children

While buying property in Pune, most home seekers tend to put their children’s needs high on the priority list. This is because in a typical Indian setting, everything that happens within a family revolves around the requirements of its children. It therefore stands to reason that the purchase of a home is – and should – factor this in.

Pune Property

For us Indians, our kids are our most important consideration. This is why we strive to provide them with every possible good thing – good clothes, the latest and largest toys, a good school, and so on. Providing them with the best possible home is a natural yearning.

It boils down to a simple fact – whether a married couple has children or not while purchasing a home, or the children are still in the ‘planning’ stage, they are a major point of reference. Here are some of the considerations we should therefore take into account while choosing a residence:

Are There Good Schools In The Vicinity?

Pune being the Oxford of the East, it stands to reason that access to the good schools is of primary importance for Pune property buyers. A housing project may offer every desirable facility – but if it does not have a reputable school within easy reach, it does not serve its purpose. The more progressive townships and integrated residential projects have schools within the campus. Even otherwise, there is no shortage of good schools in Pimpri Chinchwad.

Does The Project Feature Children-Oriented Facilities?

Ideally, builders must offer fully equipped children’s parks and playgrounds in their projects. These areas should be free of pollution, since children do a lot of heavy breathing while at play.

While the space constraints and the pollution levels of the central areas in cities like Pune do not permit such facilities, the larger integrated residential projects in areas like Pimpri-Chinchwad do. Remember that children can only thrive when they have enough airy space to play in. Similarly, you should ask about garden areas for family-oriented activities while choosing a home.

Is The Clubhouse Children-Friendly?

If you thought that a residential project’s clubhouse is only for adult entertainment and relaxation, think again. A clubhouse is – and should be – a boon to children. Look for facilities like table tennis and badminton courts, a library and indoor games.

Is There Ready Access To Shopping?

From toddler to teenage years, children have myriad recurring requirements. Fully integrated residential projects such as Culture Crest and Woodsville in  Pune’s PCMC area offer shopping facilities within the project’s perimeter. If this is not the case in your chosen project, at least ensure that you have easy access to shopping centres in the vicinity.

Is There A Hospital With Emergency Room/Pediatric Unit Nearby?

Accidents do happen – poisoning, choking, drowning, fractures and bruises, electrocution… children can get into a lot of trouble while exploring the world around them. There are many medical emergencies than can only be handled at a well-equipped hospital. If the project does not have its own hospital, at least make sure that it is within easy travelling distance from the nearest hospital. This is not an issue in progressive, well-planned areas such as the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, but many of Pune’s newer areas still lack such facilities.

How Safe And Supportive Is The Neighbourhood?

One should definitely keep one’s children’s social needs in mind while selecting a residence. By their very nature, the integrated residential projects and townships now coming up in the PCMC area offer social environments suitable to our children (good neighbours) and are also crime-free zones. If you cannot, for some reason, choose such an ideal neighbourhood, at least find out if there is a police station nearby.

Posted by: Avinash Gokhale is Director – Marketing & Corporate Planning, Pharande Spaces – a leading construction and development firm specializing integrated residential projects in the PCMC area of Pune, India.

PCMC Gets Rs 32 Crore From World Bank For Flyover Projects

PUNE: The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has received Rs 32 crore from the World Bank (WB), the first instalment of its loan for flyover projects to be conducted in the twin township.

Speaking to TOI, Dilip Kudale, co-ordinator, engineering department said, “The PCMC received the instalment on September 23.”

Terms and conditions for the Rs 210-crore loan from the WB were finalised in November and a formal agreement signed on February 5. It is meant for the construction of three flyovers at Nashik Phata chowk in Kasarwadi, Empire Estate in Chinchwad and Dange chowk in Thergaon.

Of the three, work has already begun on the flyover at Nashik Phata chowk, which is probably the state’s first double-storied flyover. The chowk sees heavy traffic all day because the Pune-Mumbai highway and the Pune-Nashik highway, both of which have been widened in recent times, meet at this point.

Nashik Phata chowk, Phugewadi chowk and Dapodi chowk are the only chowks on the Pune-Mumbai highway within PCMC limits that have traffic signals. Once the flyover is constructed, it is intended that there will be no signal at the Nashik Phata chowk so that motorists will be able to travel from Nigdi to the Phugewadi flyover chowk and vice versa on old Pune-Mumbai highway.

The cost of this flyover is expected to be Rs 93 crore.

“The contractor has taken soil samples by drilling the land on the Pune-Mumbai highway near the chowk,” said Kudale, when asked about the progress of the project. “Now, construction of the foundation for the pillars is in progress.”

He said that the World Bank would release the next instalments as and when stages of the Nashik Phata flyover were completed.

Empire Estate flyover will enable vehicles from Chinchwad and nearby areas to cross the Pune-Mumbai highway, Pune-Lonavla railway tracks, Pimpri-Chinchwad link road and Pavana river to get to Kalewadi and Wakad on the other side.

Kudale said the PCMC has invited bids for the project and that the contractor would be selected after the bids were examined. The estimated cost for the project is around Rs 99 crore.

PCMC To Build 1.4-km-long Link Road

PUNE: The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) will construct a 1.4-km-long road with six lanes at a cost of Rs 25 crore, linking the Empire Estate flyover with Chinchwadgaon-Kalewadi bridge.

The Empire Estate flyover itself is part of the bus rapid transit system route (BRTS) route between Kalewadi phata to Dehu Alandi road.

Dilip Kudale, co-ordinator, engineering department, PCMC, said the BRTS route has been divided into five sections and the construction work has been taken up accordingly. “The BRTS route will increase the north-south connectivity within the municipal limits.”

The proposed 1.4-km-long road will be 45 metres wide. Of the six lanes, two will be for BRTS buses. In addition, there will be cycle tracks, footpaths and provision for parking and tree plantation.

Kudale said the PCMC has 60 per cent land in its possession for the construction of this road and the remaining land will be acquired soon. Meanwhile, the PCMC has invited bids for the project. “The tender process is likely to be completed by end of November. The project has to be completed in 18 months,” he added.

No Extra Charge To Use PCMC Property Tax Pay Centre

PUNE: Citizens of Pimpri and Chinchwad will not have to pay extra to use the municipal corporation’s pay point system when paying their property and water taxes.

According to Sahebrao Gaikwad, assistant commissioner, PCMC, pay point centres are being opened on a public private partnership (PPP basis) at the Citizen Facilitation Centres (CFCs) located at the PCMC main office building in Pimpri and the four zonal offices.

Citizens can pay their property and water taxes at these centres. At present, only one pay point centre at the main office building is operational. Gaikwad said that the pay point centres at other locations would be operationalised next month.

“The PCMC is considering a proposal to give Rs 3 per transaction to the private contractor as service charges. Citizens will not be charged a fee. A proposal in this regard will be tabled before the standing committee at the weekly meeting to be held next week.”

Gaikwad said that PCMC already charges Rs 5 in the property and tax bills issued to citizens.

PMPML Proposes Common Mobility Card On Buses From Nov 14

Pune has been chosen for pilot project that will help people in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad to travel without cash.

The Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) has proposed to introduce a common mobility card in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad from November 14 that will enable people to travel on civic buses without carrying cash. The plan will be rolled out as a part of a Union government project, said PMPML Chairman and Managing Director Dilip Band.

The concept of single ticket for all systems of public transport has also been envisaged in the National Urban Transport Policy. The funding will be shared by the Centre under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). With this a commuter would be able to travel on trains and buses using a single card and without buying any ticket once transport operators modernise their fleet to make them compatible to smart cards usage.

The common mobility card is used in many developed countries. The union government also planned to roll it out in India and has selected Pune for its pilot run in buses. While we are planning to roll out the plan on November 14, we might start having the trial run from October itself.

Each card will be priced at Rs 40 and will be sold through authorised centres. The card readers installed in buses will calculate the ticket fare from the point of boarding to disembarking. Money will be automatically deducted on swiping the card twice. Cards will be available at around 50 centres in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad.

PMPML Goes In For An Image Makeover

PUNE: The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation’s decision to allow commercial use of land owned by the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) has pepped up the transport body chief Dilip Band, who has said that Pune’s bus transport is in the process of transforming into an efficient public transport organisation with quality buses and up-to-date commuter facilities.

Launching the Pune bus guide, developed jointly by the PMPML and Janwani, an initiative of the MCCIA, Band said, “Our prime focus is to encourage college-goers and those in IT services to travel by city buses so that the number of private vehicles on roads will reduce.”

Band said that the delivery of 500 new buses, being procured under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission ( JNNURM), will begin from October. “The buses will have an unique colour combination and doors on both sides,” he said.

The buses and bus-shelters will have public announcement systems, and LED displays. The PMPML, he said, will also be allotting work for intelligent traffic system by which it would be possible to track the movement of buses in an efficient manner. The buses will also have entertainment facilities for commuters.

In addition to the 650 buses already sanctioned by the Union urban development department, the government has in principle sanctioned 200 more buses, Band said. He added that a proposal is in the offing to run air-conditioned buses under public-private partnership basis.

Band said that the design of the new bus-shelters has been finalised and both Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporations (PMC and PCMC) will be taking up the work to install them.

PCMC will complete the installation of bus-shelters by November-December, while PMC will soon be inviting tenders for the work.

The Union government, he said, has sanctioned 2.5 Floor Space Index (FSI) for bus depots by which, PMPML will be able to redevelop the existing depots with parking facilities for buses and commuters. Some portions of the building will also be used for commercial purposes.

“PMPML is going to benefit financially in a big way by redevelopment of the bus depots,” he said. PMPML will be able to provide “park and ride” facility by redeveloping the depots.

While PCMC has already sanctioned 2.5 FSI for bus depots in Pimpri-Chinchwad, PMC will be discussing the proposal soon, he said. The bus depots will be redeveloped within a period of one year, he added.

Justifying the e-ticketing system which has been adopted by PMPML despite opposition from certain sections of people, Band said that recently the transport organisation has recently awarded an advertisement contract which will fetch Rs 24 crore for the next three years.

“This is almost double the earlier advertisement contract which fetched Rs 18 crore for the last five years,” he said. Band said that now there would be more transparency in the functioning of the PMPML.

PMPML’s joint managing director Satish Kulkarni said there would be qualitative and quantitative improvements in PMPML as only better mobility of people would help in the health and environment related problems facing the city.

PMPML, at present is transporting just 20 to 22 per cent of people. This number has to increase, he said. Responding to a suggestion by MCCIA president Mukesh Malhotra that all buses should be clean, Kulkarni said that cleanliness of buses will be the top priority for the PMPML.

PUNE: The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation’s decision to allow commercial use of land owned by the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) has pepped up the transport body chief Dilip Band, who has said that Pune’s bus transport is in the process of transforming into an efficient public transport organisation with quality buses and up-to-date commuter facilities.

Launching the Pune bus guide, developed jointly by the PMPML and Janwani, an initiative of the MCCIA, Band said, “Our prime focus is to encourage college-goers and those in IT services to travel by city buses so that the number of private vehicles on roads will reduce.”

Band said that the delivery of 500 new buses, being procured under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission ( JNNURM), will begin from October. “The buses will have an unique colour combination and doors on both sides,” he said.

The buses and bus-shelters will have public announcement systems, and LED displays. The PMPML, he said, will also be allotting work for intelligent traffic system by which it would be possible to track the movement of buses in an efficient manner. The buses will also have entertainment facilities for commuters.

In addition to the 650 buses already sanctioned by the Union urban development department, the government has in principle sanctioned 200 more buses, Band said. He added that a proposal is in the offing to run air-conditioned buses under public-private partnership basis.

Band said that the design of the new bus-shelters has been finalised and both Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporations (PMC and PCMC) will be taking up the work to install them.

PCMC will complete the installation of bus-shelters by November-December, while PMC will soon be inviting tenders for the work.

The Union government, he said, has sanctioned 2.5 Floor Space Index (FSI) for bus depots by which, PMPML will be able to redevelop the existing depots with parking facilities for buses and commuters. Some portions of the building will also be used for commercial purposes.

“PMPML is going to benefit financially in a big way by redevelopment of the bus depots,” he said. PMPML will be able to provide “park and ride” facility by redeveloping the depots.

While PCMC has already sanctioned 2.5 FSI for bus depots in Pimpri-Chinchwad, PMC will be discussing the proposal soon, he said. The bus depots will be redeveloped within a period of one year, he added.

Justifying the e-ticketing system which has been adopted by PMPML despite opposition from certain sections of people, Band said that recently the transport organisation has recently awarded an advertisement contract which will fetch Rs 24 crore for the next three years.

“This is almost double the earlier advertisement contract which fetched Rs 18 crore for the last five years,” he said. Band said that now there would be more transparency in the functioning of the PMPML.

PMPML’s joint managing director Satish Kulkarni said there would be qualitative and quantitative improvements in PMPML as only better mobility of people would help in the health and environment related problems facing the city.

PMPML, at present is transporting just 20 to 22 per cent of people. This number has to increase, he said. Responding to a suggestion by MCCIA president Mukesh Malhotra that all buses should be clean, Kulkarni said that cleanliness of buses will be the top priority for the PMPML.

PMC Appoints New Panel To Resolve Water, Property Tax Cases

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) standing committee on Tuesday directed the civic administration to appoint a commission to resolve the pending cases with disputes on water tax and property tax.

The committee urged the administration to resolve the disputed cases before incurring two per cent tax on the dues of property tax. “The administration has assured of setting up the commission with immediate effect,” said Arvind Shinde, chairman of standing committee. There are pending dues of Rs 200 crore of water tax and Rs 75 crore of property tax with the civic body.

PMPML Plots In PCMC To Open For Commercial Property Use

PUNE: The general body of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has cleared the decks for commercial utilisation of land reserved for the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) depots and termini.

The GB has approved a resolution initiating changes in the development control (DC) rules, which is necessary to allow 2.5 floor space index (FSI) on these prime plots.

As per the resolution, only the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal ltd (PMPML) and the PCMC will be able to develop the plots, said Pimpri-Chinchwad mayor Yogesh Behl.

A short-notice proposal was tabled at the general body on Monday following a letter sent by Dilip Band, divisional commissioner and president and managing director of PMPML. Band said in the letter that the transport body was suffering huge losses and there was a need to increase its income from sources other than buses.

The letter further said that the bus depots in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad are located in prime locations. If 2.5 FSI is granted, depots can be developed on the ground floor while the three to four floors above can be used for parking; the portion above that will be developed on a build operate transfer (BOT) basis for commercial purpose.

“If 2.5 FSI is approved then funds can be generated to help the PMPML cover its losses. It would also mean better public transport in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad,” the proposal stated.

To get the FSI approved, changes will have to be made in the DC rules of the PCMC under provisions of section 37 of MRTP Act 1966. In case a site is situated in the bus rapid transit system (BRTS) zone then the premium and other rules which are applicable for the BRTS zone shall not be applicable for the bus stand/terminus/depot.

Satish Kulkarni, joint managing director of the PMPML, confirmed that the transport body has sought permission to commercially exploit all the plots reserved for bus termini/ depots and other purposes for the transport body within the PCMC limits.

A PMPML official said that all the properties and plots that were reserved for the erstwhile Pimpri Chinchwad municipal transport (PCMT) were owned by the PCMC. The PMPML has received possession of only three depots, namely Nigdi, Nehrunagar and Bhosari and one central workshop at Nigdi.

The PMPML had earlier sought possession of six plots in various parts of the municipal limits from the PCMC but the general body has kept the proposal pending.