SCRAP HCMTR - MAKE PUNE A MODEL FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
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We, the undersigned, believe that Pune should be a model for sustainable development. After our careful, in-depth study of the proposed HCMTR project with inputs from experts on traffic/transportation, urban planning, heritage conservation, ecology, geology etc. it is clear that the project goes against all principles of sustainable development. The High Capacity Mass Transit route (HCMTR), proposed in 1987 DP was a rail and bus public transport solution to bypass the city as it existed then, 30 years ago. The proposed HCMTR is a 36 Km elevated six lane ROAD passing over 34 junctions through the city, with only two lanes for public transport (BRTS) and FOUR lanes for private 4-wheelers (2/3 wheelers and cycles are NOT allowed), with project cost of Rs 5200 crores.
The HCMTR project is a misguided attempt in development that will only end up benefiting 4-wheeler private vehicles at great cost to Pune's environment.
We, the citizens of Pune, request you to scrap the HCMTR project, for the following reasons:
1. The very objective of HCMTR as notified under the Pune Development Plan is not being followed: As per the 1987 DP, the HCMTR is proposed as a "rail based' mass transportation system. As per the 2007 DP, notified in 2018, “The route is proposed to be used only for operating the mass transportation system”. However, the Tender document issued in February 2019 is for 24m wide road, with two lanes for BRTS and FOUR for private 4-wheelers. How did the PMC change the purpose of the HCMTR from a mass transportation rail-based route to a road with 2/3rd space for private vehicles? #HCMTR
2. HCMTR alignment based on a 1983 traffic study by MTP (Railways): We all know how Pune has changed over the last 30 years. The urgent need of the hour is a good public transport system that suits current and projected work flow needs. Many open areas on the route as planned in 1987 are now built up or congested. There are conflicts with the Metro lines and flyovers at Paud-Phata and the University which did not exist in 1987 DP. Why is a 1987 plan being forced on Pune in 2019?
3. Current proposal with 4 lanes for private 4 wheelers goes against National Urban Planning policy and the spirit of Smart Cities: The National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP) 2014, the draft Maharashtra State Urban Transport Policy 2017 and Pune’s Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP, 2008, aims to reduce use of personal motor vehicles from 55% today to 10%) – all state that urban transport should “move people, not vehicles” and that private vehicle use should be discouraged. HCMTR does just the opposite. With 4 out of 6 lanes reserved only for private 4wheelers, this project will encourage people to use cars, very soon even the elevated road will be congested by "induced demand". For sustainable traffic management, PMC should concentrate on building infrastructure to increase ridership on Metro, upgrade the PMPML system, properly maintain the Rainbow BRT infrastructure and ensure high frequency of buses. #SmartPune #SmartCity
4. HCMTR will destroy valuable water recharge zones in the city: Ground water will play in critical role in building water security for Pune in the face of population pressures and changing monsoon patterns. Nearly a third of Pune's watersheds have their catchment sources in the Vetal - Hanuman tekdi - Chatushringi complex! These catchments include some of the largest natural recharge zones in the city - including large parts of 3 to 4 out of the 5 aquifer systems that constitute the mainstay of Pune's groundwater. When Maharashtra is reeling under the worst drought in decades, Pune's ground water is coming under severe stress from an extraction of the order of 3 to 4 TMC annually, it becomes imperative to protect these tekdis as 'groundwater recharge sanctuaries' and oppose any development projects that will destroy key natural recharge sites and parts of the aquifers themselves. PMC aims to make Pune as “Jalyukt Shahar”. Achieving this goal is only possible if our hills and their biodiversity are preserved. For this, projects like HCMTR must be rejected.#JanShakti4JalShakti
5. Destruction of Forests and Green Space in the center of the city: HCMTR will destroy more than 7 hectares of Reserved Forest land, nearly 2000 mature trees will be felled, destroying hill slopes. This wanton destruction of ecologically sensitive zones is against the Constitutional mandate placed on PMC to preserve the environment -see Articles 48-A, 51-A(g) and Article 243 ZE of the Constitution, the last one specifies planning to include “integrated development of infrastructure and environmental conservation”. All developed cities have huge green and open spaces in the city centre, just like our tekdis, that play a vital role in mitigating ‘heat island’ effect, act as carbon sinks and reduce air and noise pollution. Our tekdis enhance the quality of life of residents by providing free, open area for recreation and exercise. Note, Pune's tekdis are green because of common people's participation in social forestry and should be protected as community spaces and Natural Heritage sites for future generations. #UrbanForests
6. Immeasurable loss of community lives and heritage: 34% of the route is in private hands, acquisition is estimated to cost PMC Rs. 2,452 crores! Add to that cost, is the immeasurable suffering to citizens who are losing their homes and livelihoods across the city, along with Pune's heritage e.g. in Chaturshringi Angalvasti, Parvati Nandan Ganpati Temple, Vadgaon Sheri, Bopodi, Dhanashree Society, etc.
We therefore request you to scrap the HCMTR project. For sustainable development, PMC should actively discourage use of private vehicles and promote public transport options for Punekars, by focusing on efficient Metro and PMPML services.
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