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Pune Infra Watch: PMC decides to develop multi modal transit hub in Balewadi on its own

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The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to develop the Rs 1,000-crore multi modal transit hub in Balewadi on its own and take the project away from Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited (PSCDCL), which was working on it after getting necessary approval from the Union government under the Smart City Mission.

The multi modal transport hub in Balewadi was approved as a smart city project since it was in the area of Aundh, Baner and Balewadi (ABB), under the Area Development project category. The PSCDCL had prepared a plan of Rs 1,251 crore for its implementation and sought land for the project from the PMC.

However, the PMC was reluctant to allow the big project to be implemented by the PSCDCL. It was after six letters from the PSCDCL that the PMC in 2018 tabled the proposal to allot required land by proposing necessary changes in reservation of the plot to be developed as multi modal transport hub by the PSCDCL. It was approved in November 2021 and sent for the approval of state government.

“The PMC has now decided to implement the multi modal transport hub project on its own and has approved a new proposal to be sent to the state government for its permission,” said a civic officer.

In a proposal approved by the civic general body last week, municipal commissioner Vikram Kumar said that the PMC would begin the process of developing the multi modal transit hub in a 40,401.82 square metre plot in Balewadi on a PPP basis; the state government would give its nod to the project on the land it owned.

“The PMC has communicated to us that it would be developing multi modal transit hub in Balewadi on its own and have got the general body approval for it last week. We have communicated the same to the union government and the got the project removed from the list of projects to be developed under smart city mission,” said Sanjay Kolte, CEO of PSCDCL.

He said the mega project would take lot of time for completion and the PMC will be able to develop it properly.

Earlier, the PMC had demanded the government land on emergency basis for the octroi post and parking lot and the district collectorate had transferred the land to it for the purpose in 1999 on conditions that the land would be retransferred to the state government whenever demanded. The land should be used only for the approved purpose, no change of use be done without the permission of the district collector and if the conditions are violated by PMC lthen the district collector would have the powers to take back the possession of land, the condition said.

Meanwhile, the PMC had leased out the land to PMPMPL for its bus depot after the octroi post was removed following the abolition of octroi by the state government. Of the total 41,200 sqaure metres of the government land, 798.18 square metres have already been handed over for the development of elevated metro rail for Hinjewadi-Shivajinagar route. The location is adjacent to National Highway 48 on the eastern side, with direct access through two major roads, Balewadi Road and Balewadi -Hinjewadi road to Pune city.

The proposed transit hub will integrate public and private transport with adequate numbers of bus and paratransit bays to take care of inter-city, intra-city, para-transit demand, integration with the city bus rapid transit (BRT) system, bus transit facilities for both inter and intra city services of PMPML, MSRTC and private operators.

Parking for around 80 buses, 1,942 four-wheelers and 3,884 two wheelers, Commercial office space of around 17.5 lakh square feet, retail development of around 4 lakh square feet. In addition, the transit hub terminal are being planned.

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