Nagpur: City MP and Union minister for road transport, highways and shipping Nitin Gadkari has cleared a central business district like project at Dhantoli, which will replace the existing Yeshwant Stadium, Patrakar Bhavan, Government Library, bus parking area and a slum. Proposed over a sprawling 2.51 lakh sq m built-up area, the project will be integrated with Nag riverfront development plan, and MahaMetro’s 25-storeyed traffic and transport management system (TTMC) planned adjacent to Yeshwant Stadium.
In the meeting convened by Gadkari at Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) on Sunday, architect Ashok Mokha and his team, including Kunal Bhisikar, gave a presentation on the proposed project and also displayed the project’s model. With the concurrence of mayor Nanda Jichkar, other office bearers, and legislators, Gadkari directed MahaMetro to execute the project in association with NMC.

Mokha told TOI an open and an indoor sports stadium with ground+two floors commercial tenements, and stage will replace the existing Yeshwant Stadium. “Five towers of 15 floors each will come up in the area between Panchsheel Square and Munje Square. India’s first pedestrian walking street will be part of the project. It is likely to cost around Rs600 crore,” he said.

The project is also likely to end a long pending demand of Ambedkarites as it includes an Ambedkar Convention Centre.

Gadkari also directed MahaMetro to take up development projects proposed on areas surrounding Railway Station, including demolition of flyover in front of the station. He also asked MahaMetro to construct four railway over bridges (RoBs), one each at Pachpaoli and Mankapur, and two at Kalamna. He also assigned the task of Futala development project, comprising a underpass, viewers gallery, musical and laser show etc, to MahaMetro.

On Gadkari’s query, MahaMetro officials said detailed project report of phase-II had been submitted to the state government for approval, and will be followed by submission to central government.

On Smart City project, Gadkari directed municipal commissioner Virendra Singh and CEO Ramnath Sonawane to first construct housing scheme under PMAY and then go for other works in two phases. “PAPs should be rehabilitated first, so that the project will progress well and not affect anyone,” he said.

Gadkari asked NMC to submit list of all playgrounds and their current usage with him to preparing a comprehensive sports policy for the city. “Sports facilities should be developed as per type of sports prevailing in the areas. For example, football grounds should come up in North Nagpur, basketball in South-West, kabaddi in East Nagpur etc,” he said.

Gadkari directed NMC to develop 30 senior citizens recreational (virungula) centres, three in each of the 10 zones. “NMC should start execution of special business complex for women SHGs from December 1,” he said.

The minister slammed Central Railway officials for creating obstacles in construction of road connecting Wanjari Nagar overhead water tank with Ajni railway over bridge. “I will not tolerate if intentionally project is halted. We are planning to save the school, and are also ready to construct underpass. I will suspend the engineer who is creating hurdles,” he said.

Gadkari also directed railway officials to give NOC for laying sewage line from Saint Johns School to Gaddigodam to Punjabi Line and Motibagh.

On the demand of former MLA and NCP leader Dinanath Padole, Gadkari directed NMC not to eye profit from Tukdoji Maharaj Sports Complex situated on Subhash Road. “Allow agency to operate and maintain the complex on no-profit-no-loss basis,” he said.

Appreciating NIT and chairman Ashwin Mudgal for beginning issuance of ownership rights to slum-dwellers, Gadkari expressed concern over delay on NMC’s part. East Nagpur MLA Krishna Khopde complained about delay by NMC.

Ruling party leader Sandip Joshi, former mayor Pravin Datke, MLAs Girish Vyas, Vikas Kumbhare, Khopde, PWD chief engineer Ulhas Debadwar, NIT general manager Ajay Ramteke, MahaMetro director (projects) Mahesh Kumar and others were present.

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