Lohegaon: No approval yet for alternative road

Efforts to start international flight services from Lohegaon Airport have been underway by the central government for the past one and a half years, necessitating the expansion of the airport runway.
Image for representational use
Image for representational useImage source: Unsplash

Pune: For the past year, the Pune Municipal Corporation has been pursuing approval from the Ministry of Defense for the construction of an alternative road to Lohegaon due to the expansion of the airport runway.

However, permission for the roadwork has yet to be granted. Questions are now being raised about when this road will be approved and when construction will actually begin.

Efforts to start international flight services from Lohegaon Airport have been underway by the central government for the past one and a half years, necessitating the expansion of the airport runway.

With the runway expansion, the road connecting Lohegaon from Weikfield Chowk will be closed to the public. To provide an alternative route for residents, discussions were held between municipal administration and Air Force officials in June 2023. Senior officials from both departments conducted site surveys and inspections.

Two options were proposed for the new road: a 1.5-kilometer road connecting Lohegaon via Kalwad Road along the perimeter of the Defense Department's wall near the Burmashell slum, and another road starting near Kendriya Vidyalaya along the same perimeter. The latter option was selected.

In June 2024, the municipal administration sent detailed information to the Defense Department requesting approval for the road construction. The Defense Department then asked for additional technical details from the municipality.

After providing the requested information, the municipality was asked to address some technical issues and resubmit updated information. Despite completing these steps, no approval has been granted from the Defense Department over the past year.

"We have provided the necessary information to the Defense Department for the approval of the alternative road to Lohegaon. However, permission from the Ministry of Defense is still pending," said Amar Shinde, Executive Engineer, Road Department, Pune Municipal Corporation.

Murlidhar Mohol, who recently became a Member of Parliament, has been appointed as the Minister of State for Civil Aviation. Mohol has previously served as the mayor of the city.

Given the significance of this issue for the airport and the millions of residents of Lohegaon, there is hope that Mohol can effectively pursue approval for the alternative road from the Defense Department. The municipal administration's hopes are now pinned on his involvement to expedite the necessary permissions.

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