DEO grants PMC permission to cut 266 trees to widen roads at highway

01 Mar 2023

For the 2.2 kilometre stretch of the Pune-Mumbai highway, the Civic Body has been granted permission by the Defence Estates Office (DEO) Pune, to remove 266 fully grown trees in order to complete the long-awaited road widening project. The Khadki Cantonment Board (KCB) has jurisdiction over the area between the Khadki railway station and the Central Hatchery.

A few weeks ago, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) began construction on a drainage and storm water line along this length. It approved Rs 850 million to build a 42 m wide, cement-concrete road with BRTS lanes on either side. Dinkar Gojare, Executive Engineer at PMC, said, “Out of the 266, about 100 trees will be replanted on defence plots, which are to be identified by the defence authorities. Additionally, we will plant 1,300 trees on defence land.”

“The Local Military Authority (LMA) will decide defence land plots for tree planting,” a senior DEO official told. The area of land also has banyan and peepal trees in addition to local trees. According to DEO officials, the LMA and representatives from the PMC’s landscaping department will pick the trees to be replanted.

Currently, the inadequate roadway on the highway segment causes regular traffic jams. Due to difficulties with property acquisition, the PMC was previously unable to complete the road widening project. In order to assist the widening work, the district administration exchanged the highway portion for 10.8 acres of equal-value land at Dunkirk Lines in Yerawada in December of last year. We want to complete the work in the following two years, Gojare stated.

However, residents and activists from the Khadki, Bopodi, and PCMC neighbourhoods encouraged PMC to finish this project as quickly as possible because of the long-standing traffic problems in the area. A KCB resident remarked, “Due to metro construction over the past few months, the traffic congestion in the KCB limit has gotten progressively worse. For the people of the cantonment, the situation will now get worse due to the road widening project. We anticipate the PMC to finish the assignment by the due date.” Another KCB resident and activist stated that “The cantonment has developed a distinctive character throughout the years thanks to its open spaces, lush vegetation, and peaceful atmosphere. The local authorities must maintain this previous identity in addition to undertaking development efforts.”

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