NMC’s dream Orange City Street project in doldrums?

Nagpur: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) with much fanfare announced the Orange City Street Project in the constituency of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. But it seems, the ‘dream’ project has remained a distant dream.

According to sources, at least 15 works have been carried out ‘illegally’ in the land reserved for the Orange City Street project. The works include construction of temporary and permanent roads under the pressure of local leaders. This dubious act has now not only reduced the ‘Orange City Street’ land pieces but also left it reduced.

It may be recalled that the land for the project was reserved from Narendra Nagar Flyover T-Point to Hingna T-Point. Earlier, the State Government had given this stretch of land having a railway line to Defence Ministry. Goods trains used to run on this line from Nagpur to MIDC area. There used to be only one road across the rail line for both way traffic. However, after some years, the State Government took back the land from Defence Ministry under “Exchange of Land” norms and gave it land of same measurement in Dehu near Pune. Subsequently, railway rakes ceased to run on this line. Later, this land came under the district administration’s possession.

Thereafter, during hearing of PIL filed in the High Court the State Government was directed by the court to ‘develop’ the said land and hand it over to Nagpur Municipal Corporation for ‘proper’ use. Subsequent to the court directives, the NMC purchased the entire land from district administration for Rs 2 crore. Later, NMC spend around Rs 2.5 crore for construction of safety wall on entire land.

After some years, NMC gave some portion of this land to MSRDC for construction of flyover from Narendra Nagar T-Point (Ring Road) Radisson Blu Hotel Square on Wardha Road. Thereafter, the NMC initiated a project named “Landon Street” on the remaining land from Wardha Road to Hingna T-Point. But, as the project failed to materialise, as usual, the NMC converted the “land use change” of this land into ‘commercial’ land. This project was given a new name i.e. ‘Orange City Street.’

Ironically, during the processing of the measure, at least 15 temporary and permanent roads were constructed on this ‘Orange City Street’ land from Jaitala Road to Wardha Road ‘illegally’ at the behest of Town Planning Department, Estate Department, Laxmi Nagar Zone and some top officials. And the beneficiaries were some white collared elements. The entire safety wall of so-called ‘Orange City Street’ is in ruins. 30-40 percent portion is in the grip of encroachers. In sum, the land of the ambitious ‘Orange City Street’ project is getting reduced day by day and thus pushing the project in doldrums. Only the timely action on the part of Municipal Commissioner Ashwin Mudgal could save the project from going into history pages.

—By Rajiv Ranjan Kushwaha