Under criticism for the slow pace of development work under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), the Pune Municipal Corporation has chalked out a four-month plan to launch an extensive land acquisition drive for road widening to set up the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS).
“The civic administration has been able to only complete the acquisition process of the land that was vacant. The development work on the acquired land is almost complete and now steps are being taken to acquire the land that has structures on it,” said Sudhakar Telang, PMC land acquisition and estate officer.
He said land will be acquired on Nagar Road, Alandi Road, Sinhagad Road and Karve Road in the next four months. Telang said that since the property owners or occupants have not cooperated with the civic administration on land acquisition, the special drive will be aimed at using the powers with the civic body for forceful acquisition of land for implementing developmental projects.
“The action will be taken with the help of staff of anti-encroachment department and city police,” he said, adding, the civic body has already served notices to property owners. The action will lead to demolition of structures on roads that are to be developed for BRTS. Under JNNURM, the civic body is carrying out road widening work, developing dedicated bus lanes and cycle tracks among others.
Work on the 16.5 km BRTS stretch from Katraj to Hadapsar via Swargate was launched in 2006, however, it was plagued by accidents and delays. The PMC has now speeded up work on other BRTS routes.