Modi likely for Pune Metro Rail project event

Pune Metro Rail routePune: Pune: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit Pune again for the ground-breaking ceremony of the city’s ambitious Metro Rail project.

Modi, who was in the city to launch Smart City projects in 20 cities on June 25, is likely to visit Pune again this year before the formal announcement of the civic polls slated early next year.

Highly-placed Bharatiya Janata Party sources told that the Metro Rail project will get the Centre’s nod within the next few weeks.

“The proposal has already got the green signal in the initial meeting of the Public Investment Board meeting. The PIB meeting is expected to be scheduled in July where the project will get the nod and thereafter the Union Cabinet will give its green signal for the project,” BJP sources added.

The Union government has already given its in-principle approval for the project, and it will only be a formality to get the nod from the Cabinet.

”After all these clearances related to the project are secured, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) will start preparations to float tenders for the project. The Centre is already in discussion with the World Bank and other financial institutes to give 50 per cent loan for the project. The loan approval will be in place simultaneously with the Cabinet’s approval,” BJP sources added.

According to BJP insiders, before the formal announcement of the civic elections, the PMC and State government will organise the ground-breaking ceremony for the project.

“We have planned to rope in the prime minister for the ground-breaking ceremony as we feel that it will give political leverage to the party in the elections,” BJP sources added.

Recently, Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis have said the Pune Metro will get formal approval of the Union government within the next few weeks.

City Mayor Prashant Jagtap confirmed that he has requested Modi to give the nod for the Metro project when he met him at the June 25 function.

“Modi has assured me that he would ensure that the project gets the nod soon. It is likely that the Prime Minister will visit the city again in a few months to launch the project,” added Jagtap, adding that that both the Nagpur and Mumbai Metro projects were inaugurated by the prime minister.

The Central and State government each would bear 20 per cent of the total project cost.

The Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporations would bear 10 per cent and the remaining 50 per cent would be raised from financial institutions.

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