Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari has promised a financial aid of Rs. 245 crore to the Nagpur Municipal Corporation for the widening of the Old Bhandara Road. The generally out-of-money NMC has welcomed the assistance as a helping hand.
The project is undertaken for a 3.28km-stretch of old Bhandara road from Mayo Hospital to Sunil Hotel T-point. A meeting was held with the Madhya Nagpur Vikas Aghadi organization which undertakes the road widening works.
President of the MNVA, Bhushan Dadwe presided over the meeting where Gadkari asked the civic body to draft and forward a proposal to his ministry sooner than later.
According to municipal commissioner Ashwin Mudgal, NMC also has started working on the process.
The first proposal to widen that stretch of road was made in 1965. The plan to widen the road was included in the city’s master plan since 2000. Earlier, until the 70s, the roads were wide enough to accommodate two buses. But eventually, because of the shopkeepers who’ve extended their stores almost onto the roads, the roads narrowed down.
Currently, the road is 20 feet wide and is not enough for a hassle-free movement of traffic. On July 17, 2017, NMC was ordered to widen the road within the next three months by the high court. But, because of the civic body’s laid-back attitude, the order was never executed.
A spot inspection was conducted and it was found that for the roads to become wide again, the shops will have to be bulldozed. The encroachment has become a menace, leaving only 4 meters of road open. Whereas at other places, the width is 14-15 meters. Old Bhandara road provides a gateway to the Ring Road and also connects Central Nagpur to other areas within the city.
A survey was conducted by the NMC in 2016, where eventually land was acquired to start widening the roads to 60 feet. The land identification process was kicked off. It was later found that around 444 houses will be affected if the road was widened. A suggestion of providing TDR and FSI by the civic bodies was suggested. But after that, no progress was recorded on the same.
Bhushan Dadwe enlightened that the traffic jams at the Central Avenue will reduce if the NMC widens this road.
"Currently, frequent traffic jams dissuade even pedestrians from using the road. More people will be able to visit the city's old trading hub once the road is widened,” he said.
According to the memorandum, Dadwe stated, "Around 90% people residing along the road have violated the sanctioned building plan and have erected structures on the land that was to be kept vacant."
Information source: timesofindia