Pune Municipal Corporation announced its decision to reduce the number of trees to be cut to 35 for re-designing of Rajbhavan road that comes under Smart City Mission’s Urban Street Design policy. The project would have initially required felling of 105 trees from Savitribai Phule Pune University road till Bremen road and Aundh. The green activists, however, are still not happy as they believe that the number can be reduced further.
The pilot project of Smart City mission involving renovation and widening of Jangali Maharaj Road began followed by PMC’s announcement similar renovations for 15 other roads in the city.
Rajendra Raut, Chief Superintendent Engineer of the PMC road department said, “We earlier faced a similar issue with the removal of 105 existing trees on the stretch in question for road widening. After reworking the project, adjusting utilities and pedestrian pathways, we started work and reduced the number of trees to be cut. A proposal has also been submitted to the tree authority for approval.”
Ironically, these very roads also came under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) improvements and PMC has already spent Rs 72 crores since 2008. Despite heavy finances, the roads and pavements are still encroached by hawkers, cycle tracks are in pathetic condition and regular digging work for utility services disrupts traffic leading to congestion.
When questioned about the difference between JNNURM and Smart City roads project, Raut defended that the aim is to make them pedestrian friendly this time. Hence, the components would be almost the same, but redesigning will be done within the available width of roads.
News Source: Pune Mirror
Image Source: Times Of India