24 Jun Pune’s Metro – What will happen to Pune and Punekars?
“The Metro will pass along the road right next to my bungalow. Will my property rate rise or fall? Can I continue staying at my bungalow with my family? Or will this mean that I need to redevelop, amalgamate with four other neighboring plot owners and build a commercial building on this property?”
So effectively, I see few things happening in the city of Pune:
1. All constraints of amalgamation, investment and environmental clearances prohibits the property owner from using the available 4.0 FSI, which will mean that the plan to densify the city for the Metro will fail. There is a Cess that will be levied on properties that will fail to redevelop after the work on Metro has started. So, with the Cess amount and the additional FSI premium consumed by some property owners, the Pune Municipal Corporation will generate enough for the Metro kitty.
2. For lucrative properties which will be economically attractive to redevelopment, we may find that property owners are unduly coerced to sell or amalgamate or redevelop their property when they don’t want to. The creation of a Land Mafia, could be one of the potential outfalls of this.
3. For home owners who currently reside in bungalow units along the Metro zone, it will mean that it is an end of an era of single homes and your options will be either to redevelop, stay in the same place in a new residential cum commercial building or move outside the city for bungalows or suburban apartments.
4. We will see massive 4.0 FSI redevelopment in pockets of the city along the Metro, without really adequate civic amenities like water supply and drainage or parks and primary schools.
5. Further, if such a massive built space creation happens in reality, I wonder if any studies have been conducted to see its impact on Pune’s housing market, its migration pattern and its employment trends. If we are to attract so many ‘outside’ citizens to Pune to densify the city, for each formal job addition, we will see 5-6 more jobs in the informal sector. So, with inadequately proposed land for EWS Schemes, this formal housing/commercial space will create informal housing or Slums all over the city at a very fast rate that we have ever seen. So, the hills that Punekars want to save as an environmental resource, will end up getting dotted with slums.
6. Once the Metro construction begins on its alignment, the additional density and the congestion will reach the zenith for some time till the construction work progresses. Punekars should pray that thsi construction goes smoothly, or any land acquisition mired in a legal battle will mean that this period of Metro construction extends beyond the estimated and causes havoc with the traffic situation in Pune.
7. Once the Metro is up and running, we will have a great mass transit that traverses the city. But this will have to be integrated with an effective bus transport system and even rickshaws to really make Punekars use the Metro instead of their private cars or two wheelers. If this does not happen, then once again Punekars may revert back to using their two wheelers for their daily commute.
Having laid down multiple options here, it is important to ask at this point, whether any studies have been done to assess the above ‘scenarios’ of socio-economic impact on the city and its citizens. If not, whether you support or oppose the Metro, we citizens should unite in demanding from the civic administration relevant studies and analyses before going further with any plans, proposals or projects that they feel are “good” for the city! Or once again, like a badly designed BRTS, Punekars will end up with a ill-designed Metro that does nothing for the city or its citizens.