Letters to CM Shri Fadnavis on Corridor 2

Severe concerns raised in the past few years on the Vanaz-Ramwadi route or Corridor 2 of the Pune Metro led the Chief Minister Shri Fadnavis to constitute a Committee under the Chairmanship of Shri Girish Bapat to revisit the DMRC proposal. The Committe has to deliver its decision by the 7th of April 2015 and has held two meetings so far in March.  In earlier posts, we had  highlighted the impact of the Metro on our Prabhaag as well how the Metro would affect our city. With the Committee hearings on, DGPS has written the following mails to the Chief Minister, requesting complete transparency of the deliberations and cognizance of our concerns as residents who would be directly affected by the routing proposed.

 

 

Deccan Gymkhana <dgpspune@gmail.com>

27 Apr 

Dear Shri Fadnavis

We understand from media reports that the Committee for revision for Corridor 2 has submitted its report to you.
We also understand that various proposals were submitted to the Committee and the media reports that there was no consensus view.
In the interests of transparency, we request you to share all proposals submitted to the Committee with the public through the government website.
We also request you to not rush through with any decision, and to take a studied view taking into account the opinions of all stakeholders, town planners and traffic and transportation experts from Pune.
Thanking you,
Best wishes

Deccan Gymkhana <dgpspune@gmail.com>

6 Apr

Dear Shri Fadnavis,

We understand from media reports that the Committee for Corridor 2 has completed its deliberations and is submitting its report to you tomorrow. We request you to share the details of this report with the public at the earliest.
While we reiterate the need for complete transparency in the decision making process for the Metro, we request you to resolve the interlinked issues of FSI in the Metro Influence Zone and an efficient PMPML service as soon as possible.
These are long pending issues and we trust that your government will work in the best interests of the citizens,
Thanking you,

Deccan Gymkhana <dgpspune@gmail.com>

3 Apr

Dear Shri Fadnavis

We would like to thank you for finally constituting the PMRDA and we are writing with the hope that your government soon shares its vision for integrated traffic and transport facilities in the city.

As the Committee deliberates on Corridor 2 for the Metro, one of the biggest issues that residents have been raising is the lack of traffic and transport planning in the city. Currently, all infrastructure projects are being taken up piecemeal leading to badly implemented road projects and explosive growth in personal vehicles. There are numerous examples in the city of shoddy planning e.g.  grade separator and flyover at Sancheti Chowk clashing with proposed elevated Corridor 2 Metro route, BRTS being put in with no emphasis on improving bus services etc.

Citizens and activists have for years demanded a better bus service in the city, and we are yet to see this materialize – it is shocking that the PMC talks of delay to push through a Metro Proposal when it has done little to support the cheaper and more urgently needed mass transport system for the city.

A good PMPML service is vital to support the Metro and the Metro will be even more unviable if it has no feeder bus services – this is common sense but unfortunately, demands for a better bus service are being seen as opposition to the Metro! Frankly, as residents, we see a complete lack of vision in our city governance, we hope that you will rectify this.

We request you to ensure that immediate steps are taken to strengthen PMPML to show results within this year. This is of urgent concern since PMPML requires an efficient administrator now as Shri Shrikar Pardeshi, who had begun to tackle the many problems in PMPML, has now been moved to the PMO.

From DGPS, we support the call given by PMPML Pravasi Manch, Shri Jugal Rathi, Shri Vijay Kumbhar and others asking for 10% of the Metro funds to be allotted for more efficient PMPML service (See ToI, March 29, 2015). We are hopeful that you will accept this suggestion. 

Thanking you

Deccan Gymkhana <dgpspune@gmail.com>

30 March 2015

Dear Shri Fadnavis,

 

As residents of the area directly affected by the Pune Metro route, we are sorry to say we are forced to rely only on media reports to know how the government is taking decisions regarding our lives in the years to come. Today’s Times of India reports that the PMC has argued before the Committee for Corridor 2 in favour of the current DMRC plan, saying that any new proposal will cause a delay in getting a Metro for the city. Sir, as residents of Pune, we find the reason given of ‘delay’ totally unacceptable; in the long term interest of the city, all alternative proposals placed before the Committee should be studied carefully and the best solution should be chosen.

1.       While thousands of citizens of the city gave their objections to the DMRC proposal for Corridor 2 in writing and also attended hearings at the PMC, there has been no disclosure by the PMC on its responses to the objections. As mentioned in our mail dated 20th March 2015, we once again request you, Sir, to invite all major stakeholders in the city for a hearing by the Committee and ensure that all proposals before the Committee, all reports and letters between the PMC, DMRC and the Ministry of Urban Development on the Metro Project are made publicly available.

2.       We once again reiterate that there is total lack of clarity on the FSI issue, on cluster development, on payment of cess etc. and as mentioned in our earlier mail dated 23rd March 2015, we request the Committee to please delink FSI in the Metro Influence Zone as a source of finance for the Metro and consider other alternative financing options as already given by the Ministry of Urban Development.

We once again request the Committee to keep in mind the long term interest of the city and not to finalise any plan in haste without hearing the concerns of all stakeholders, particularly those resident on the route of Corridor 2.

 

Thanking you,

Deccan Gymkhana <dgpspune@gmail.com>

23 March 2015

Dear Shri Fadnavis,

 This is to bring to your attention the urgent need for more transparency and public interaction with the residents of Pune. Sir, the massive outcry by the residents over the past two years against the DMRC Metro proposal for Corridor 2 has been on two fronts:

a)      A The Route of Corridor 2 that passes through congested areas of Deccan Gymkhana, Karve Road etc.

b)      B The FSI notification in the Metro Influence Zone leading to even more congestion

We request you to provide clarity on both these points, as soon as possible.

A. We understand that the Committee is looking into alternate proposals on routing. We request you once again to share the details on the government website so that people understand the issues raised in all the proposals and the rationale behind the decisions being taken by the Committee.  Sir, bringing the residents on board with the decision making process is a crucial part of governance, and we look to you for sharing more information about projects that will affect our lives.

As regards FSI issue, Sir, there has been a lot of confusion, on cluster development, on payment of cess etc. and there are reports now about 3 FSI on the Metro Influence Zone (TOI 25th February 2015). By linking the FSI issue to the Metro, there will be more opposition to the Metro from residents in the influence zone.

B We request the Committee to delink increased FSI in the Metro Influence Zone as a source of finance for the Metro and consider other alternative financing options as already given by the Ministry of Urban Development.

In addition, Mr. E Shreedharan has been quoted in the Business Standard (20th March 2015) about the need for innovative financing options by the Central Government (Metro Rail Finance Corporation, standardization etc) and we hope that with Dr Vijay Kelkar on the Committee, these recommendations by Mr. Shreedharan can be pushed by our State Government as well, that will benefit all present and potential Metro projects.

Once again, Sir, we thank you for your attention and hope that the Committee deliberations are shared with the stakeholders in the project – the residents.

With best wishes,

——————————————————–

Deccan Gymkhana <dgpspune@gmail.com>

19 March 2015

 
   
 
 

Respected Shri Fadnavis, 

 We, the residents group of Prabhaag 36, Pune would like to thank you for the fresh start to the Pune Metro, by allocating Rs. 174 crore this year, in addition to the allocation made in the Central Budget this year. 

 We would like to thank you for starting with Corridor 1 and setting up a Committee for reconsidering Corridor 2 project.Sir, as you are aware, there had been considerable feedback against the DMRC proposal for Corridor 2 from residents, and from Prabhaag 36 letters have been submitted to the PMC  several times, requesting that the proposal be reworked to go underground, with alignment to suit highest ridership. 

 With Karve Road, Law College Road and Deccan within our living area, we are acutely aware of the severe problem of traffic congestion and the need for a modern mass transit system to cater to the growing population. At the same time,  we are acutely aware of the severe lack of space on the ground, which will only get more constrained in the coming decades, and we request the government to look forward, think long term and take the right decision for going underground.

 We also request you to continue to stay open to the voices of the citizens, keep the entire process transparent and ensure that all studies (technical feasibility, social impact, environment assessment impact are completed with full disclosure). 

 Sir, our group has been working with our Ward Office, PMC and corporators on many issues like solid waste management, traffic, dog sterilisation etc and have always received support from officers at all levels. Working together, and not in opposition, has made our Prabhaag one of the model wards in the city, as our Commissioner Shri Kunal Kumar will confirm . 

 We would like to remain proud of our city as one that is truly inclusive with the right vision and look forward to yet another positive decision from the government that will benefit many generations to come.

 Thanking you

Best wishes

—————————————————-

Deccan Gymkhana <dgpspune@gmail.com>

20th March 2015

 
   
 

Dear Shri Fadnavis

 We would like to thank your office for the acknowledgement of our mail yesterday, where we had requested that Corridor 2 should be revised to go underground. However, according to this report in today’s Maharashtra Times, it appears that the new Committee for Corridor 2 is inclined towards status quo (existing DPR), without giving studied thought to alternatives, or citizen feedback. We feel that an elevated Metro project on congested roads like Karve Road and around the Deccan area will only increase our problems in the long term. The lack of consensus had prompted you to form this Committee, but without fair hearing to all stakeholders, especially residents of Pune across the route suggested, the discontent will only grow. We are writing this mail to request full transparency of the government’s decision making process, so that we can understand the rationale behind choices made.

1.      1.  Transparency on lack of consensus over Corridor 2 and Citizen Feedback: Sir, you have been quoted in the Indian Express, March 8th 2015, saying “We heard views presented to us. We decided that since there’s no consensus on the plan for Corridor-II, we will go ahead with work on Corridor-I. We will approach the Union Government to give us a go ahead for to commence work on Corridor-1. We will form a committee to decide on Corridor-II,” said Fadnavis.”  Over the past three years, we, along with many citizens of the city, have studied the DMRC proposal as well as the Pune DP and, when asked for feedback, filed our responses to the PMC on the Pune DP as well as to the Metro (DCR) specifically.  We have gone to the public hearings conducted by the PMC and our views have been recorded on video. We have spent considerable time and effort doing this, but we have seen no report analyzing the public feedback to the Metro and the DP.

We request you, Sir, to make public a detailed analysis of all the feedback already submitted to the PMC on the DMRC proposal by citizens and experts on town planning and transportation from the city. Citizens have come out in thousands to take part in the city’s future, and we hope that the government will give full details of the feedback along with the reasons for the government accepting/rejecting these. This will give much more clarity to all about the decision making process and citizen participation.

2.       2. Transparency on Committee’s hearings: Chairman Shri Girish Bapat has been quoted in the press (Times of India, March 12, 2015), “The committee should present its views on underground and elevated options and also estimate the project costs. The committee has to study if some metro stations could be connected by monorail. We should also consider changing locations of some stations… Suggestions from citizens must be also considered. We have to mull over rehabilitation of people affected by the project.”

We request you, Sir, to invite major stakeholders in the city for a hearing by the Committee. Further, all proposals given to the Committee should be made public, along with reasons for rejecting/accepting these proposals.

3.       3. Transparency over financial models: As per news item in Times of India dated January 29th 2015, “the state urban development department wants supporters of underground metro to present a plan to raise funds for such a project to the chief minister during the proposed meeting.”

We request you, Sir, to clarify whether any such financial models are presented to the Committee, the details of these plans and the response of the Committee to these plans.

 Finally, Sir, as Punekars, we are prepared to make sacrifices in the short term for a promising long term vision. However, we are already suffering due to the rushed and faulty implementation of BRTS project in the city and now Punekars are not looking for a Metro just for the sake of one. PMC Commissioner Kunal Kumar has been reported in today’s Maharashtra Times as saying 

Untitled

 Sir, Punekars are not in any race with any other city in the state or country! The huge feedback from thousands of citizens has not been given with the intention to delay the project, but to get the best for our city and the voice of the citizens should not be sidelined, without any explanation to us.

We would like to have a Metro that we are proud of, that everyone will use; a project like, the Golden Quadrilateral, like the Pune-Mumbai expressway, which will earn your government the gratitude of future generations. Your announcement of a Committee to reconsider Corridor 2 had filled us with hope that the congested areas of Corridor 2 would have the underground route; we felt that our voice had reached you and there was hope for the city. We are still hopeful that there will be full transparency in the proceedings and processes of the Metro.   

 

 Thanking you

With best wishes

———————————–