Maharashtra government gives green signal to first phase of Pune Metro project

Mumbai:  While Mumbai is famed for its efficient railway network, Pune was always known as the city of two-wheelers. The motorbike or scooter was the Puneite’s easiest mode of transport to travel through the city’s narrow bylanes. But now, in less than the decade, the city will have its very own metro line that will make the commute faster and smoother.

On Monday, the Maharashtra government gave its nod to the first phase of the much awaited Metro project. The project will get 10 per cent funding by the Pune Municipal Corporation and the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, the state and the centre will chip in with 20 per cent each while the remaining 50 per cent cost will be borne by the private partner.

The metro will be over and underground in parts. The first 16.59 km will run from Swargate, the hub for the public transport buses to Pimpri Chinchwad while the second route of 14.92 will go from Vanaz to Ramwadi. The project, which was long delayed, is expected to cost over Rs.2000 crore more than the initial estimate budget because of the delays. The cost of construction and materials was calculated and estimated in 2009 and the budgets have significantly increased since then.

The part elevated and part underground line from Swargate to Pimpri Chinchwad will have 15 stations along the route, ensuring better connectivity for commuters. Some of the key locations along the route where the train will stop are Mandai, Budhwar Peth, PMC building, Shivajinagar, Khadki and Bhosari before it reaches Pimpri Chinchwad, a fast developing suburb of Pune city. Puneites, however, will have to wait. The first corridor, to be made at an estimated cost of Rs.6960 crore, will be ready only by 2021.

The government’s approval brought much cheer to city commuters who travel long hours through fast burgeoning traffic snarls. The project now awaits the nod of the central government.