Rly Station flyover to be demolished

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 14 Apr 2018 08:43:01


Staff Reporter,

Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) is all set to transfer its land between Cotton Market Square and Khowa Market, to Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (Maha Metro) for Nagpur Metro Rail project. A proposal in this regard will come up before NMC’s general body in its meeting scheduled on April 20. The proposal entails several things including demolition of the ‘design disaster’ flyover in front of Railway Station. The flyover in front of Tekdi Ganesh Mandir was constructed around seven years ago. However, since then, it has proven to be a ‘design disaster’, often causing traffic congestion on road below. ‘The Hitavada’ had highlighted the problems faced by people and also the flaw with the basic concept of the flyover at this location. ‘The Hitavada’ had also suggested that it should be demolished. For, the flyover had become an eyesore. It exposed how casually was the city’s urban planning was being handled.

Last year, NMC general body had decided to re-examine the utility of the flyover. NMC officials inspected the flow of traffic, and also held discussion with the officials of 118 Battalion of the Territorial Army, South Eastern Central Railway, Central Railway. It also discussed the matter with Traffic Branch of City Police. Further, it asked the experts at Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology (VNIT) to conduct a study and come up with a plan to regulate traffic. After the study, NMC general body is all set for demolition of the flyover and handing over of land between Cotton Market Square and Khowa Market.

Apart from demolition of the said flyover from Manas Square to Jaistambh Square, the proposal includes handing over the building of Mahatma Phule Market, building of NMC’s Mahatma Phule School, Naka No 13 building currently in possession and use of Transport Department, Octroi Post building in the rear portion of the same premises, to Maha Metro. The land owned by, and under management of, NMC between Cotton Market Square to Khowa Market area admeasures 70,424.64 sq mtrs. Of this, total 22,427.67 sq mtrs land was to be handed over by NMC to Maha Metro. But, NMC has excluded 47.20 sq mtrs land towards Khowa Market end, and 662.685 sq mtrs land of Hindi Bhashik Shala. Now, remaining 21,717.79 sq mtrs of land is to be handed over to Maha Metro. Also, total 47,996.97 sq mtrs of land along Subhash Road towards Cotton Market end will be handed over to Maha Metro. 

However, there are 1,109 shop-permit holders having shops in 70,424.64 sq mtrs of land, and 135 more apart from shop-keepers having blocks under the flyover in front of Railway Station (the same flyover passes from front portion of Tekdi Ganesh Mandir). Hence, NMC has put up a proposal for not only demolition of the flyover and handing over of above-mentioned properties to Maha Metro, but also for empowering Municipal Commissioner to take decisions regarding finalisation of shop-keepers to be rehabilitated. The responsibility of rehabilitation of affected shop-keepers is proposed to rest with Maha Metro.

As per the proposal that will come up before NMC’s general body on April 20, the affected shop-keepers will be rehabilitated in a commercial/shopping complex to be developed by Maha Metro on the lands to be handed over by NMC. Interestingly, NMC will get 50 per cent of income generated from proposed commercial utilisation of the said lands. In this particular case, the cost of 21,717.79 sq mtrs of land is estimated to be Rs 147.97 crore. Hence, NMC has proposed that either Maha Metro should pay the said cost to it or consider the land component as a part of its (NMC’s) five per cent share in Nagpur Metro Rail project cost.

Two more proposals

There are two more such proposals to be considered by NMC’s general body in its meeting scheduled on April 20. Another proposal is for handing over of 2,000 sq mtrs of land near Zero Mile stone to Maha Metro for development of ‘Heritage Walk’. The cost of said piece of land is estimated to be Rs 14.88 crore. One more proposal is for handing over of 6,289.90 sq mtrs of land in Mouza Wadpakhad to Maha Metro. As many as 221 shop-permit holders will get affected due to this handing over of land, and NMC has asked Maha Metro to take care of their rehabilitation in alternative space. Again, in both these cases, NMC wants Maha Metro to consider cost of the said lands as part of its (NMC’s) five per cent share in Nagpur Metro Rail project cost.


Shopkeepers raise issue of livelihood

The shopkeepers having shops under the Tekdi Ganesh Mandir Road flyover have raised concerns over the proposal regarding demolition of the said flyover. Addressing a press conference on Friday under the banner of Nagpur Railway Station Dukandar Sangh, they said that demolition of the flyover would mean their displacement.

Ramdas Dhanade, Shankarrao Bhaisware, Usman Sheikh, Abdul Feroze, Saddam Ahmed, Arun Awasthi, Betu Awasthi, Feroze Khan and others said that they had their shops at the said location since 1975. However, in 2002, their shops were removed and many were rendered jobless. In 2010, the flyover was constructed and 175 shop-keepers were rehabilitated in blocks constructed under it. Now, once again, some politicians are making statements about demolition of the flyover.

“We have got the shopping blocks on lease of 30 years from NMC, and have paid Rs 8 lakh to Rs 13 lakh for each block. We have requested all the leaders right from Mayor to Chief Minister, to protect us. We urge the authorities not to demolish the flyover and not to create livelihood problem for us,” Dhanade said.