State government approves Pune HCMTR with 26 modifications at 12 locations

HCMTR project, originally conceived in the PMC's 1987 development plan, aimed to alleviate city traffic congestion with a circular ring road.
Representative Image
Representative Image

Pune: The Maharashtra state government has granted final approval and issued a notification for the proposal submitted by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to enhance city traffic flow through the High Capacity Mass Transit Route (HCMTR) project.

This approval includes 26 modifications at 12 key locations. These changes involve the widening of ramps in certain areas and the reduction of sharp turns in others. Notably, the HCMTR has been completely redesigned at Dattawadi and Lakshminarayan Theater.

The HCMTR project, originally conceived in the PMC's 1987 development plan, aimed to alleviate city traffic congestion with a circular ring road. Despite the potential benefits, no progress was made on the project over the past 35 years.

Efforts were renewed in 2017, including the establishment of a dedicated decision-making cell within the municipal corporation. Initial project cost estimates were around ₹5,200 crores, but this figure surged to ₹12,000 crores in subsequent tenders, leading to their cancellation.

The HCMTR was retained in the 2017 development plan. However, due to reported traffic obstructions, a proposal to modify the HCMTR was presented at the PMC's General Body meeting in October 2021.

The proposal, supported by both the BJP and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), was approved by a majority vote. Critics alleged that the changes would primarily benefit construction businesses by routing the road through residential areas.

The PMC forwarded the revised HCMTR proposal to the state government in March 2023, which has now been approved under Section 37 (2) of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966.

12 Key Locations for Modifications:

  • Bopodi: Initially designed to connect DP Road near Harris Bridge in 1987, the road will now extend over the railway bridge to connect with the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation area.

  • Ganeshkhind: To maintain a vehicle speed of 50 km/h, the road will be shifted to the side of the Chatuhshrungi Temple.

  • Passport Office: Previously passing through forest department land, the road will now follow the Bal Bharati-Paud Phata (BBPP) route from the 2017 development plan, with a width of 24 meters.

  • Kasat Pump: The road design at Kasat Petrol Pump on Karve Road will be altered to reduce a turn.

  • Gandhi Lawns to Alankar Police Station: The HCMTR will now pass over the canal in this stretch, with the state government approving measures to reduce sharp turns.

  • Saket Bridge to Sinhagad Road: Instead of passing through Mhatre Bridge, the HCMTR will cross the Mutha River to Navsha Maruti Temple, continuing from Navsha Maruti Chowk to Sinhagad Road, Dandekar Bridge, Sarasbaug Chowk, and Patil Plaza. The previous reservation for the route through Dattawadi has been canceled.

  • Defense Colony: The road width will be increased from 24 meters to 42 meters to accommodate ramps.

  • SRPF: Due to security concerns, the route near the SRPF boundary wall has been altered for approximately one kilometer.

  • Wadgaon Sheri: The road will cross the Mula-Mutha River from Tadigutta Chowk towards Nagar Road, heading in the direction of Phoenix Mall, with an increased width for ramps.

  • Sakorenagar: The route near a sensitive military area has been adjusted.

  • Airport: For security reasons, changes have been made to the road design between the airport and 509 Chowk.

  • Lakshminarayan Theater: The previous route from Lakshminarayan Theater to Dias Plot and Gangadham Chowk has been changed to Lakshminarayan Talkies to Bibwewadi Chowk, Bibwewadi-Kondhwa Road, and Gangadham Chowk.

Sections involving Mhatre Bridge and Dattawadi have been excluded due to high population density and design obstacles. Instead, the HCMTR is planned through Sinhagad Road.

Additionally, a proposal for the Khadakwasla to Hadapsar Metro has been submitted to the central government for approval, raising questions about the integration of the HCMT route in that area.

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