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Balewadi is a part of the city of Pune in India. It is located in the western part of the city, and is famous for the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex. This complex has hosted both the National Games in 1994 and the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games.
Balewadi was a village at the edge of the city of Pune until 1997, when it was integrated into the limits of the Pune Municipal Corporation along with 22 other villages in various parts of the city.
Balewadi, along with neighbouring areas of Aundh and Baner are planned for development as part of the broader Smart Cities Mission initiated by the Government of India in 2015. The selected area will be developed as a model to be replicated in other parts of the city.
Balewadi is linked to Pune Municipal Corporation, Pune Cantonment, Chinchwad and Alandi by Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) buses. The Katraj - Dehu Road corridor passes through Balewadi. Balewadi is connected to Pune via Baner Road. There are PMPML buses going to Hinjewadi via Balewadi.
Bus rapid transit is planned from Airport to Balewadi from Pune Municipal Corporation.
As per the proposal, the transit hub will be developed on an 11-acre plot of land in Balewadi, along the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, opposite the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex near the National Institute of Construction Management and Research.
The Pune Smart City Development Corporation Ltd (PSCDCL) is all set to develop its first state-of-the-art transit hub in the city at Balewadi. The hub will comprise a Metro station, a bus rapid transit system (BRTS) stand, and bus transit facility for both inter and intra city services of the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd, the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation and private operators.
“The proposal for a transit hub at Balewadi was approved by the Union government under the Smart City programme. It is going to be a state-of-the-art mixed land use development structure integrating many transport facilities in one place. It would also have a commercial facility like a mall,” said a PSCDCL official. He added that the proposed hub would act as a symbolic gateway to the city.
As per the proposal, the transit hub will be developed on an 11-acre plot of land in Balewadi, along the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, opposite the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex near the National Institute of Construction Management and Research. “Under the Smart City programme, it has been envisaged that the transit hub will be developed through a public private partnership… The project presents a distinct opportunity to monetise the land and generate funds for implementation of other Smart City projects,” said the official.
It has been suggested that the project should be developed under the Transit Oriented Development land use, which will allow the Floor Space Index to be enhanced from 1.2 to 4, and improve the viability and bankability of the project. Balewadi also marks the entrance to the city from the Mumbai-Bengaluru bypass and many state transport buses enter Pune via the road connecting to the highway. “It will help reduce traffic congestion on city roads… many of the state transport buses that halt at Shivajinagar can use the transit hub as the last destination… the commuters can then go on to their destinations via the Metro as well as BRTS,” he said.
The Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park at Hinjewadi, located close to the transit hub, will also be connected through Metro, a step that will help thousands of commuters who travel to the Infotech Park every day. The transit hub will also provide easy transport services to visitors of the Balewadi Sports Complex, which hosts national and international sports competitions, said the official. The Maha-Metro, the agency implementing the Pune Metro project, is also planning to set up transit hubs at various places in the city including Pune station, Swargate and Shivajinagar station.
Expanding Pune: Balewadi has mega development plans in line but meagre means to fulfil them Balewadi has seen exponential growth in the last decade following the funding spurt for Commonwealth Games in 2008, but still struggles because of unavailability of water, consistent electricity and wellmaintained roads. Hindustan Times investigates
Balewadi is used to being in the news. From housing the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in 1994, to hosting the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2008 and now, its proximity to the Rajiv Gandhi Information Technology Park - Maharashtra’s largest IT park - Balewadi is a headline staple.
Located alongside national Highway 4, along the Mumbai-Bengaluru route, the development boom came with the central government sanctioning 100 crore for the development of the area ahead of the Commonwealth Youth Games. A nondescript village was soon turned into a hip Pune suburb; an area Puneites considered moving to; an area that today houses a high street with 17 restaurants and a Cummins campus spread over 10 lakh sq ft.
Surely, Balewadi is set in terms of infrastructure and civic amenities? It is not. At least according to residents in the area.
To Balewadi’s north is Pimpri Chinchwad, Hinjewadi and the Mula river, while the south has Baner and Baner gaon. Towards its east is Aundh and Pune city and the west is dominated by the National Highway 4.
For the past ten years, Balewadi has witnessed a steady growth in terms of spacious residences. It has become an area of choice for renting a house for many of IT / ITES employees, who now prefer the area after Aundh and Baner. The IT sector in the area provides employment to around 3.5 lakh people and contributes significantly to the state’s economy.
While software companies are working 24x7, significantly relying on electricity, many residents allege they are facing power cuts almost everyday. Adding to their woes is the traffic chaos during peak hours as most commuters going to IT parks pass through Balewadi, according to residents.