The Pune Ring Road is one of the most important infrastructure projects, proposed in the city of Pune in recent times. Expected to serve as a major booster to the growth of the city and also divert inter-city traffic from passing through city limits, this road has had a rather chequered history. Recent developments related to this road seem to bear this out.
The Pune Ring Road is to cover a total distance of 128 km and is expected to cost Rs. 13,315 crore to complete. It is to come up in 3 phases. The first phase, linking Satara Road in the south of the city to Ahmadnagar Road in the north-east, has in December 2017 received an allocation of Rs. 1,500 crore from the Union Government’s National Highway Authority.
The Pune Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (PMRDA) is the agency which has been entrusted with constructing this ambitious project. The PMRDA is expected to seek funds from the Asian Development Bank and other reputed lenders for the remainder of the amount. The ring road, as per current alignment, will pass through many villages on the outskirts of Pune such as Khed Shivapur, Maval, Kesnand, Wagholi and Pirangut.
However, land acquisition continues to loom large as the biggest hurdle this ambitious project faces. Many farmers from the area in and around Maval recently protested against their land being acquired for this purpose. The road ahead for this project, which is looked forward to by many, is likely to be a bumpy one and overcoming these will be a major challenge for those behind it.