India’s Maharashtra Government has allocated Rs260bn ($3.57bn) for a proposed 170km ring road project in Pune.

Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Ajit Pawar announced the funding while tabling the state budget for this year in the assembly.

He said that a large number of passenger and goods vehicles from Konkan, Marathwada, pass through Pune, causing traffic congestion in the city. The ring road will therefore help mitigate traffic and improve connectivity.

The ring road will consist of a western road and an eastern road. The western road will span from Urse toll plaza in Maval to Kelwade village, Bhor tehsil, while the eastern road will span from Urse toll plaza to Varve village on the Pune-Satara highway (NH-4).

The project is expected to be implemented by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC). Land acquisition for the project is due to begin this year.

MSRDC sub-divisional engineer Sandeep Patil said: “We will soon start a joint measurement survey of land for the western ring road, in partnership with the local land acquisition department and other government departments concerned. The compensation for landowners will be decided based on the findings.”

District administration officials said the project was of vital importance, as it would improve connectivity across the district.

One official said: “The transport of industrial goods would benefit hugely from this project. At present, the movement of goods happens mostly at night on state and national highways, creating an issue for citizens in and around Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad.”

The administration said that land acquisition could be an obstacle to the project, due to high land rates in rural areas. A group of farmers in Mulshi has submitted a memorandum against the project to the administration.

In his budget speech, Pawal also said that the government will convert all old diesel buses of state-run bus service MSRTC into CNG and electric units, and that a finance development corporation will be set up under the state Public Works Department (PWD) to fund the improvement and maintenance of 303,842km of roadways.