Published On : Fri, Sep 18th, 2015

Nagpur Metro Rail project evokes mixed reactions from Dhantoli and Congress Nagar residents


Sandeep Joshi
Nagpur
: Metro Samvad was held at Dhantoli on September 18, 2015 at Devi Ahilya Mandir premises. Senior BJP Corporator Sandip Joshi had organized this meeting of NMRCL for residents of Dhantoli and Congress Nagar. This was aimed to give them a proper information regarding the ambitious project. While speaking to the audience, Senior BJP Corporator Sandip Joshi said that such programmes will be organized in other areas too to connect Nagpur Metro Rail with the people and citizens. After a brief introduction of the subject at hand, Senior BJP Leader of city Sandip Joshi let the Nagpur Metro Rail staff, perform the convincing part.

The Nagpur Metro Rail staff presented through a Power Point Presentation.
The first point was, is there a need for a Metro Rail in Nagpur?
The answer being Nagpur is the 13th Metro city in the state. The city has a population of 22.5 lakhs. The city is spread over an area of 217 Square kilometers. The Nagpur Metro Region is covering an area of 35 lakh population covering an area of 3576 Square kilometers. The city hosts the zero-mile of the country. Nagpur is accorded with two very famous nomenclature which includes Tiger Capital of the Country and the Orange City. The Nagpur Metro rail staff claimed that with ambitious projects like MIHAN coming up where big companies like Tatas, Reliance and other Industrial and IT giants are coming up, it will certainly increase the population of those traveling by public transport systems. The Nagpur Metro rail staff further added that the authorities and city administration had to ponder over the Sustainable Development Model.

Some of the surprising facts that were brought out by the Nagpur Metro rail staff were of the entire city’s population, only 10% use the public transport facilities. They said that nearly 84% population owns a two-wheeler for transportation in the city. In order to make the city equipped with a reliable, cheap and better public transportation which will aid in preventing pollution, noise, traffic jams, accidents and other discomforts, the Nagpur Metro was envisaged.

Public Relations Officer of Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation Apte was answering to queries of the residents of Dhantoli and Congress Nagar. To start with he said that Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation is undertaking this exercise as an inclusive venture where the citizens’ opinion matters. He went on to say that, that is why it is named Mazhi Metro-Nagpur Metro.

A senior resident of Dhantoli wanted to know that do we really need Metro Rail. Why can’t the authorities spend the amount to improve and better the existing public transport system? Why can’t they improve the roads provide safe parking spaces etc? PRO of Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation replied that with growing population, a better, cheaper and viable public transport that does not congest the roads is always preferred.

Another citizen wanted to know why two stations are being constructed within a short distance of 1.5 kilometers i.e. Congress Nagar and Rahate Colony, PRO of Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation said that certain strategic locations are planned to cater to larger populace depending on the existing need.

Another senior citizen claimed that there is a Broad-Gauge Railway Line that exists from Nagpur to Buti-Bori. If the railway wants they can run a shuttle service or even a local train on that route, why waste the money on metro rail to go to Buti Bori. To this PRO of Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation said that running a local on broad gauge incurs heavy expenses and also hinder the smooth traffic on main trunk-route.

Another citizen wanted to know why both the North South route and the East-west route is not covering the Civil Lines area where most of the Government Offices are located and a large number of employees use the public transport, the PRO of Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation said that they are going to employ a feeder line Bus or shuttle services. They are even planning on battery operated auto-type vehicle to ferry passengers to the Metro Rail stops.

Rangoli Building demolition issue
Dr I J Gundecha pointed out that a major part of the Rangoli Building at Congress Nagar is going to be pulled down to facilitate construction of Nagpur Metro Rail Station. He claimed that the Impression Plaza or Rangoli Building houses 20 shops and 12 flats. All these people (i.e. Residents and Shopkeepers) will be displaced. What are the plans for their rehabilitation? He also wanted to know about the compensation which the authorities of Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation have planned. To this question, PRO Apte of Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation said that based on the existing rules and regulations promulgated by the Maharashtra Government, 3 times the Ready Reckoner Rate. However, the Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation is yet to receive the final Government Resolution over the issue.

Dr I J Gundecha pointed out that if the Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation feels right, they can plan a route where the Congress Nagar Station be moved to Ajni Railway Station so that it can help the passengers alight from the trains and directly board the metro to reach their houses. The Nagpur Metro Rail can then move ahead and follow the road passing FCI Godown and intersect Wardha Road at Ajni Square. To this PRO of Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation asked Dr I J Gundecha to kindly write down the proposal and send it to Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation, and they will certainly explore the possibility.

The PRO Apte of Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation categorically stated that every construction of metro will be done by transparent e-tendering process thereby leaving no scope for corruption.

The Nagpur Metro Rail will prove a boon for public transport and the citizens should come forward and support the project whole heartedly instead of opposing the development plans of the city on one issue or the other.