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Kondhwa, Pune - Frustration and disappointment have mounted among the residents of NIBM Road, Mohammadwadi, and Undri due to repeated delays in the construction of the Anandvan slope road.
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC)’s road department has been the target of criticism, as the closure of the road since April has disrupted daily commutes and raised concerns about the well-being of school-going children.
Initially, the road was scheduled to reopen in the first week of May. However, the PMC later revised the reopening date to June 6 and has now pushed it further to June 10. These ongoing delays have not only inconvenienced the residents but have also sparked doubts about the PMC’s ability to meet deadlines and efficiently handle infrastructure projects.
Avinash Kamthe, the sub-engineer responsible for the slope reduction work, explained the current status of the project, stating that the road curbing work is being completed, and final touches are being given to the side margins. Due to some pending tasks, the reopening date was rescheduled to ensure that all work is finished before opening the road to traffic. However, these reassurances have done little to alleviate the frustration felt by the residents.
Danish Khan, a resident of Imperial Housing Society, expressed his disappointment and shared his experience of prolonged delays caused by the PMC. He stated that despite following up on the issue since 2018, the road construction work has progressed at a sluggish pace, leading to inconvenience and doubts about the eventual reopening on June 10. The lack of progress has raised concerns about the PMC’s commitment to timely completion.
Jaymala Dhankikar, a prominent social worker from Mohammadwadi, highlighted the adverse effects of the road closure on the local economy. With establishments such as restaurants, hotels, and eateries experiencing a significant drop in customers, many have been forced to shut down temporarily. Dhankikar also expressed concerns about the upcoming monsoon season, anticipating traffic chaos due to increased congestion on alternate routes, such as the NIBM-Undri link road and Mohammadwadi-Undri link road.
Dhankikar further emphasized that if the PMC fails to repair the roads promptly, the affected residents will not hesitate to file a First Information Report (FIR) against the civic body for endangering lives. The PMC’s road department has allocated a budget of Rs 3 crore to reduce the slope from 10 feet to 3 feet and widen it to 24 meters. This particular slope is the only access road to the affluent Mohammadwadi area and has become a significant bottleneck for traffic.
Another incident that highlighted the urgency of road repairs occurred on May 20 at Palace Orchards on NIBM Road, resulting in a collision between multiple vehicles and the unfortunate loss of two lives. Despite the PMC’s initial announcement of installing rumblers on the road, no progress has been made in this regard. Additionally, the palace orchard chowk requires redesigning, and tar layering work needs to be carried out.
Infuriated by the lack of action and continuous delays, residents organized a protest march to condemn the PMC’s negligence and demand immediate attention to the road construction at Anandvan slope road. Concerned citizens also filed a Right to Information (RTI) query regarding the allocation of funds for infrastructure development in the area. Surprisingly, while the PMC collected approximately Rs 223 crore in property tax from the region, specific information about the allocation of funds for road and water supply infrastructure was not provided.