Friday, September 24, 2010

Two years after CYG, work still goes on

Civic body may push for March 2012 deadline to complete road, parking projects

Even as New Delhi races with time to clear the mess and make the Capital ready for the Commonwealth Games (CWG), work is still on to complete many infrastructure projects sanctioned for the Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) hosted by Pune in October 2008.

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) was approved Rs 422 crore for 40 projects to upgrade infrastructure, mainly roads. Struggling till the eleventh hour, the civic body made it just about enough to hold the event.

According to an estimate, work on at least 50 per cent of the sanctioned projects is still on. Five projects have not taken off at all and the PMC is now seeking an extension of the deadline to March 2012.

The PMC agrees there has been a delay, but claims 95 per cent of the work has been completed at an expenditure of Rs 330 crore against the estimated Rs 422 crore. Development of roads, parking terminals and pedestrian paths, along the route from the airport to the venues, was the main work sanctioned. The Union government had approved the projects in two phases, road development in March 2007 and terminal facilities in September 2008.

The major road works still on include the stretch from the Airport Road to the Deccan College, Airport Road to Vishrantwadi Chowk, Baner Gaothan to Balewadi Gaothan, FC Road to the Agriculture College junction and Sancheti Hospital to Sangam Bridge.

Work on roads from the railway station to M G Road, railway station to RTO junction and Shivajinagar to Ganeshkhind Road, is also not over yet. Of the 12 parking terminals approved, work on five, including one at Baner, near the Chhatrapati Shivaji Sports Complex in Balewadi, has not started at all.

“The main reason for the delay was hurdles in land acquisition. The worka are being completed as per land availability. However, we will seek extension of the deadline to March 2012,” said Vinay Deshpande, Officer on Special Duty, who is also in charge of the JNNURM cell of PMC.

In some places where land has been acquired against the wishes of the owners, the civic body si facing stiff resistance as the owners want compensation before work starts. “It is obvious they will oppose if they have not received compensation. They are not even allowing cutting of trees on the land,” Deshpande said.

On the likelihood of the delay pushing up project cost, he said it won’t be much as the work is on and only parts of each project were incomplete. “Land acquisition is taking time in case of Defence, Court and Survey of India lands. The process to acquire land is on,” Deshpande said. Deshpande agreed that work on the five parking terminals has not yet begun.

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