Key associations of the city have come together to express their absolute support to the proposed Inter Modal Station (IMS) proposed at Ajni, expressing that they believe in the importance of green cover but that should not be a barrier for development.
The association are: Nag Vidarbha Chamber of Commerce, Butibori Manufacturers Association, Vidarbha Industries Assocation, Vidarbha Economic Development Council, Nagpur Chamber of Commerce, Vidarbha Taxpayers Association and MIDC Industries Association. They are of the view that IMS is a passenger terminal infrastructure which intgegrates various modes of transportation like rail, road, mass rapid transit system, bus rapid transit and other para-modal transportation. Inter Modal Stations allow passengers to change transportation modes during transit without having the station premises.
IMS also aims to reduce city traffic congestion by aggregation of transportation modes in the city, by effective city evacuation and by eliminating traffic due to transit passengers. Moreover, it provides improved passenger convenience as various transport modes operate from the same premises, bringing synergies into the available infrastructure.
This was stated by Ashwin Prakash Mehadia, President of Nag Vidarbha Chamber of Commerce, while addressing a press conference at Press Club, Civil Lines, here on Friday. Disturbed by the recent statement made by Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Surface Transport, that he would drop this project at Ajni if the citizens do not want it, this group has come together in favour of IMS at Ajni.
While respecting environmental concern expressed by the nature lovers and their suggestion to shift it to Khapri, Mehadia strongly believed that IMS at Khapri would totally defeat the purpose of IMS. Ajni is a central place suitable for this project, he said adding that citizens using intercity train or bus would have to travel around ten km from the city to reach Khapri. This will cause significant pollution and traffic congestion. Moreover, CONCOR run Multimodal Logistics Park is close to Khapri. Nearly 8000 trailers move in that area every month and such heavy vehicular traffic renders Khapri unviable to develop as Inter Modal Station, he pointed out.
The organisations urged Gadkari to continue with this very important project and demanded translocation of full grown trees and afforestation programme be taken up with extreme caution so as to achieve maximum possible survival rate. The trees counted in these 44 acres are 4930, including small trees and no 40000 as being highlighted. The association wants project development only in 44 acres under phase I and it opposes commercial project coming there, Mehadia mentioned.
The group released satellite photos of Ajni taken in between 1965-67 from the Corona series of spy satellite of the United States that were operation in 1960s. The pictures display that Ajni area was not a jungle as is being highlighted by tagging it as Ajni Van.
Shivkumar Rao, Suresh Rathi, Shrawankumsar Malu, Gaurav Sarda, Kailash Jogani and Tejinder Singh Renu also expressed their views on the issue. Pradeep Khandewal, Shashikant Kotharkar, C G Shegaonkar, Sachin Jain, Tarun Nirban, Ramawatar Totla, Varun Vijayvargi and others were present at the press conference.