Chandani Chowk Interchange Project in Pune, built to reduce traffic chaos in the area, will finally be inaugurated today. The foundation stone for the project was laid by Nitin Gadkari in 2018.
It will be inaugurated by Union highway minister Nitin Gadkari, with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Ministers Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar in attendance.
The flyover will provide a shorter route for commuters travelling from NDA, Bavdhan, Mulshi, and Kothrud, easing their daily commute.
Chandni Chowk is the main junction that connects Bavdhan, NDA, Pashan, Mulshi Road, Paud Road, Mumbai–Bengaluru bypass. Huge traffic congestion has been the norm due to the junction’s connectivity to Information Technology Park at Hinjewadi via the highway. The area’s wide connectivity prompted the civic body to plan redevelopment of the area.
The completion of the Chandani Chowk flyover, which was initially scheduled for April, had faced yet another delay. Last year in October, an old bridge at the site was demolished due to severe traffic congestion, even causing Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to experience delays while travelling from Mumbai to Satara. The project was originally planned to be completed by August 2021 but encountered various obstacles such as land acquisition, traffic management, and the impact of the ongoing pandemic. The deadline was subsequently shifted to January and then to May, but unfortunately, it was further delayed until August.
NCP MP Supriya Sule has demanded that PMC and NHAI name the multilevel flyover after Senapati Bapat. It is the entry point to Mulshi tehsil. And so, the flyover should be named after Senapati Bapat as a mark of respect for his immense contribution to Mulshi, she added. However, Shiv Sena's (Shinde) Nana Bhangire has demanded that the project should be named after Bal Thackeray.
Ex-Kothrud MLA Medha Kulkarni Expresses Discontent Over 'Lack of Credit
Medha Kulkarni, former MLA of Kothrud, expressed her disappointment, sharing, "I've never spoken publicly about feeling disregarded or overlooked. Even when decisions were made without consulting me. However, now I feel the need to share," she wrote in a Facebook post, accompanied by an image of the event's poster and messages circulating within the BJP city unit about event preparations.
"The pamphlets for the Chandani Chowk inauguration in Kothrud were initially disheartening. Nitin Gadkari and Devendra Fadnavis deserve credit for the Chandani Chowk project. But who initiated this with them? In a previous public address, Gadkari mentioned, 'I pursued this on the advice of the then MLA Medha Kulkarni'," she added.
"I've been involved with this issue even before current prominent Kothrud leaders were in the picture. Now, the current Kothrud leaders seem to claim all the credit, almost erasing figures like me," she remarked.
Medha also mentioned that during Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah's visits to Pune, certain individuals enjoyed unrestricted access. "Despite my request, as a national representative, I wasn't granted this privilege," she noted.
Despite Impending National Challenges, Some Prioritize Divisive Politics: Kulkarni
"Despite impending national challenges, some prioritize divisive politics for personal gain, leaving behind expected commitments. As a dedicated worker, I've come to terms with my insignificance. It's convenient for them to treat me this way. Lacking the power or financial resources, my loyalty lies in ideology, rooted in my modest background. Driven by principles, I entered politics to sincerely serve all communities, continuing my entrusted duties. However, it's increasingly painful to witness such actions," she concluded.
It should be noted that in the 2019 assembly election, then Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil was given the ticket from Kothrud after the party dropped sitting MLA Medha Kulkarni.
The Kothrud suburb, considered as a preferred second home destination for many living in the heart of the city, has nearly four lakh voters.
In the 2014 state polls, BJP's Medha Kulkarni defeated Shiv Sena's Chandrakant Mokate by over 64,000 votes, while Kishore Shinde stood in the fourth position.