Pune: PMC Under Fire as Road Excavation Continues Beyond Deadline

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Pune, 18th May 2024: Despite the stipulated deadline of May 15 for all road-related activities, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) continued road excavation, citing ongoing emergency works.

Aniruddha Pawaskar, head of the PMC’s road department, stated, “PMC had established deadlines to streamline pre-monsoon preparations. Road excavation ceased by the end of April, with repairs scheduled for completion by May 15. Nearly 90% of the restoration work has been concluded.”

PMC officials revealed that an extension had been granted to the water works department, particularly for the 24×7 water supply project. Permissions for various activities spanning approximately 47km of road were granted during the financial year 2023-24. These included excavation for telephone, cellular, and internet lines, as well as work on stormwater drains, and water and electricity supply, which are ongoing.

However, residents of Bhusari Colony expressed concerns about road excavation causing traffic disruptions in their vicinity.

PMC directives stated that road excavation was prohibited from May 1 to September 30, coinciding with the rainfall season.

Vivek Velankar of the citizens’ group Sajag Nagrik Manch criticized the PMC, stating, “Poor management of road excavation has become a regular occurrence, causing unnecessary inconvenience to citizens. A detailed schedule of road works and its execution should be mandatory, with stringent action against officials failing to meet deadlines.”

In 2023, PMC took action against contractors and officials for failing to adhere to deadlines and continuing excavation beyond the stipulated period. Several contractors were fined, and a total of Rs. 50 lakh was recovered from 10 contractors for unauthorized excavation in areas such as Nagar Road, Warje, and Sinhagad Road.

Sahebrao Dandge, a senior official of PMC’s road department, emphasized, “Ward offices have been instructed to conduct surveys in their respective areas to assess the urgency of road works. If deemed unnecessary, actions will be taken against those responsible, including cancellation of work permissions.”

PMC officials also issued notices to electricity generation companies to provide information on contractors involved in unauthorized excavation post-deadline. Repeat offenders may face penalties or criminal charges.

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Despite these issues, road-related activities continue in various areas including Karve Road, Bavdhan, Pashan, Koregaon Park, and Mundhwa, encompassing footpath repairs, water pipeline installation, and drainage maintenance.