Pune: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has given a rap on the knuckles of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) officials over delay by the civic administration in executing several important projects in the city.
Gadkari slammed the lackadaisical attitude of PMC officials when their delegation led by former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis met him in New Delhi recently. The meeting was scheduled for presentation of Mula Mutha riverfront development project with the support of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
When PMC officials accepted that the JICA project has been delayed due to lack of land acquisition, Gadkari retorted by saying ‘don’t turn this (JICA) project into another Chandni Chowk flyover case.
The JICA Project
PMC has proposed to kickstart the riverfront development project for which budgetary provision of Rs 150 crore has been made in the draft budget 2021-22 by Commissioner Vikram Kumar.
“The river development project and river rejuvenation project need to be started simultaneously to achieve the objective of having a clean river. The river rejuvenation project’s tender process of Rs 1,600 crore, supported by JICA will help in keeping the river clean by ensuring only treated sewage water is released into Mutha river. The riverfront development project will ensure recreational space for residents while beautifying the area,” Kumar said during the budget presentation on Friday (January 29)
Land Acquisition Delayed
JICA project needs land to be acquired at Baner and Warje. Gadkari instructed PMC officials to complete the land acquisition process for this project on priority. When the land acquisition status was revealed, Gadkari reacted sharply saying that PMC officials should not make this into another Chandni chowk flyover blunder.
Replying to Gadkari, PMC Commissioner Vikram Kumar said that the civic body is ready to pay cash compensation to the concerned land owners. Kumar also informed Gadkari that a proposal of Rs 23 crore for the same will be put forth before the standing committee of the PMC.
Gadkari then asked the PMC officials to complete the land acquisition process first before the tender process is initiated.
What made Gadkari angry
The Chandni Chowk flyover project work was inaugurated by Gadkari, however this project is yet to be completed. The land acquisition process for this project is not completed as PMC has not paid the compensation amount to the affected-citizens.
Gadkari has expressed his disappointment over the delay in land acquisition for this project. In this backdrop, Gadkari gave a rap to PMC officials in the meeting which was conducted at his residence.
Minister of Jal Shakti department Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar, Member of Parliament (Pune) Girish Bapat, Maharashtra Cabinet Minister for Water Resources Department Jayant Patil and senior PMC officials were present during the meeting.