Pune's Vetal Tekdi Bachav Kruti Samiti Lists 3 Key Focus Areas For City's New MP

Pune's Vetal Tekdi Bachav Kruti Samiti Lists 3 Key Focus Areas For City's New MP

The voting in Pune is scheduled for May 13, with contestants including Murlidhar Mohol of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Ravindra Dhangekar of the Congress, and Vasant More of the Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi (VBA)

Gaurav KadamUpdated: Wednesday, April 10, 2024, 12:36 PM IST
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Pune's Vetal Tekdi Bachav Kruti Samiti Lists 3 Key Focus Areas For City's New MP | Anand Chaini

The proposed construction of a road from Balbharati to Paud Phata is poised to become a contentious issue during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The 2.1km-long road, initially proposed in the 2007 development plan of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), has faced opposition from environmentalists and locals. They argue that the project would be detrimental to the city's greenery, particularly as it cuts through Vetal Tekdi, one of the last green bastions in Pune.

Meanwhile, the Vetal Tekdi Bachav Kruti Samiti (VTBKS), a collective of concerned citizens advocating for the preservation of the hilly terrain, has released a 'Citizen Manifesto'. In this manifesto, the VTBKS outlines three primary focus areas for the elected Lok Sabha representative.

Firstly, the VTBKS demands that the MP champion the cause of Pune's tekdis and halt the proposed Balbharati to Paud Phata road project. They emphasise the importance of designating Vetal Tekdi as a 'Natural Heritage' site in Pune's Development Plan, aligning with the draft list of natural heritage sites identified by the Maharashtra Government in 2000. Additionally, the VTBKS calls for the abandonment of the High Capacity Mass Transit Route (HCMTR), also known as the inner ring road, a proposal dating back over 40 years.

Furthermore, the VTBKS urges the MP to advocate for adequate funding and appropriate policies aimed at enhancing the quality of life for Pune residents. Key among these concerns are ensuring sufficient water resources and efficient public transportation. The manifesto highlights the looming water crisis in Pune, drawing parallels with cities like Bengaluru suffering from depleted groundwater due to rampant urbanisation. The MP is urged to push for the implementation of Central government policies and schemes for groundwater management, including aquifer mapping, and to prioritise the restoration of Pune's stream network through measures such as removing encroachments and desilting.

In terms of public transport, the VTBKS stresses the need for expanding the metro network, improving last-mile connectivity, and bolstering the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd (PMPML) fleet. They call for the MP to secure funding for metro expansion, coordinate the completion of ongoing metro construction projects, and enhance connectivity between metro, buses, and autos. Additionally, the manifesto underscores the importance of implementing the National Urban Transport Policy in Pune.

The voting in Pune is scheduled for May 13, with contestants including Murlidhar Mohol of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Ravindra Dhangekar of the Congress, and Vasant More of the Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi (VBA).

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