Pune’s 5-Year Wait: Residents Demand Action on Long-Delayed Wakad-Balewadi Connection, PIL Filed 

Wakad Balewadi link bridge
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Pune, 8th September 2023: The neighborhoods of Baner and Balewadi within the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) area have long been separated from the neighborhoods of Wakad, Kaspate Vasti, and others under the jurisdiction of the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) by the Mula River. Over the past two decades, both these localities have experienced significant growth in terms of population, construction, and commercial development. Many residents of Wakad work in Baner and Balewadi, and vice versa, resulting in a heavy reliance on a lengthy and distant route that forces them to travel via the Mumbai-Bangalore Highway.

In an effort to alleviate this situation, a bridge connecting Balewadi, Baner, and Wakad was jointly sanctioned by the PMC and PCMC in 2013. However, despite its completion in 2018-19, with an estimated expenditure of over 31 Crores INR, this bridge has not been made accessible to the public to date. The issue has had a profound impact on over 250,000 residents of the region, causing unnecessary congestion on the Mumbai-Bangalore Highway, jeopardizing travelers’ safety, and resulting in significant time and fuel wastage.

The Petitioners have raised concerns over the apparent inaction on the part of the PMC and other respondents. They argue that the PMC has not fulfilled its fundamental duty to open the bridge for public use, leading to the misuse of public funds, loss of time, and fuel for the general public. Although connectivity from the PCMC side is available, the PMC has cited difficulties in acquiring the necessary land for constructing a connecting road to the bridge, despite having the authority to do so for public purposes under various laws.


Abhijit Garad, a resident of Wakad, and Sandip Mandloi, a resident of Balewadi, have taken the initiative to address this issue but have received no concrete response or solution. Consequently, they have filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) at the Bombay High Court through Advocate Satya Muley against the PMC, PCMC, District Collector, Town Planning Authority, and Urban Development Department. The PIL seeks directions from the Hon’ble Bombay High Court to open the Wakad-Balewadi Bridge for public use.

The delay in making the bridge operational has caused daily hardships for over 250,000 residents who travel between Wakad, Kaspate Wasti, Balewadi, and Baner for work and other purposes. The situation has resulted in unnecessary traffic congestion, extended travel times, and increased fuel consumption.

Despite the joint participation of the PMC and PCMC in the bridge’s construction, with a budget exceeding 31 Crores INR, and its completion in 2018-19, the bridge has remained unused for over five years. Local residents have repeatedly received false promises from authorities, claiming that all necessary approvals are in place and that the connecting road will be developed soon. Unfortunately, these promises have yet to materialize, leading to the wastage of public funds.

Furthermore, due to the bridge’s unavailability, the area surrounding it has become a hotspot for miscreants, garbage dumping, unauthorized truck and tanker parking, and anti-social activities, undermining the purpose of its construction.

The ongoing traffic congestion in Balewadi, Baner, and Wakad has added to the daily woes of residents, with long travel times and wasted fuel. Opening the said bridge is expected to alleviate traffic jams, reduce travel times, and save both time and fuel for commuters in the region.

Abhijit Garad, a resident of Wakad, expressed his frustration, saying, “The perpetual delay in bringing the bridge into use adds to the commute woes of thousands of citizens staying in Wakad, Kaspate Wasti, and Pimple Saudagar area. Citizens have to take other longer routes to commute to offices at Balewadi and Baner areas even though the approach road to the bridge from PCMC side is ready since many years. This not only adds fuel cost but also increases commute time.”

Sandeep Mandloi of Balewadi added, “Residents of Baner and Balewadi are facing daily traffic chaos, and at times it takes 30-40 minutes to cross a single junction. Radha Chowk, Mamta Chowk, and Dasra Chowk become bottlenecks. Although a Balewadi Wakad link road has been proposed for more than 10 years, there has been no outcome so far.”

Advocate Satya Muley, representing the petitioners, expressed concern over the delay, stating, “If there is a problem in acquiring the land from the Balewadi side for providing connectivity to the bridge, then this exposes flaws in PMC’s planning and administration. It is astonishing to see that both the corporations built the bridge without proceeding to acquire land for the bridge’s connectivity.”

Muley continued, “Since the authorities have claimed to have solved the land acquisition problem for several years without any real development, it’s time for them to take action and demonstrate their commitment to the project.”

The local residents and petitioners hope that their PIL will prompt the authorities to take swift action to make the Wakad-Balewadi Bridge accessible to the public, relieving the daily struggles faced by thousands of commuters in the region.