PUNE: The city should consider underground metro only if it has sufficient funds to shoulder the excessive project cost, Vivek B Gadgil, Chief Executive and Managing Director of L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad), said on Saturday. Speaking to press persons, he also said that, the world over, cities are opting for elevated metro because of techno commercial and security reasons and suggested that Pune should follow suit.
There are pros and cons of elevated and underground metro. The decisions should be made on the basis of techno commercial reasons, he said. However, across the world, cities are opting for elevated metro in the backdrop of rising terror threats. Especially after the attack on the London underground, security concerns determine decisions on transport projects like the metro,” Gadgil said during a discussion with faculty members of Vishwakarma Institute of Information and Technology at Kondhwa.
When asked if Pune should go ahead with the elevated metro plan, Gadgil said, “If the city has funds, it should go ahead with underground metro. However, an underground project is very expensive compared to elevated metro. Also, it is a wrong notion that underground metro causes lesser nuisance then the elevated metro during construction. In fact, even the underground metro cause disturbance during construction phase.
Majority of work for underground project, like opening of tunnel and metro stations, has to be started on ground.”
He added that political interference in transport projects delay them and the city has to suffer. Gadgil said that, if there are no socio-political and economic hurdles, it is possible to complete a 60km metro project within four-to-five years.
The Pune elevated metro project proposal has been pending with the state government for three years and is likely to be tabled before the state cabinet next month. The project for Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad includes two routes with a total length of 31.5km. The first route is between Vanaz and Ramwadi in Pune and the second between Pimpri Chinchwad and Swargate. As per the revised costs in 2013, the metro rail project will cost Rs 10,183 crore.
Gadgil said that the metro project alone is not going to solve city’s traffic problem. “The city has to develop a connectivity network around the metro project. Only then citizens will be able to use the metro,” he said.
Speaking on engineering requirements for modern metro projects, Gadgil said, “When we compare the situation in our country with other nations, we realize they have moved far ahead of us in terms of technology. In fact, we need to introduce metro engineering as a subject in colleges. Building metro projects is a critical task. If one thing goes wrong, it will affect the end result.”