Pune metro plans inch forward

PUNE: The state government will provide funds for the two corridors of the metro rail project in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, between Vanaz and Ramwadi, and between Nigdi and Swargate.
The funds will be sanctioned after the central government approves the project, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said while presenting the state budget on Wednesday.
Very few details were given out about the status of the project. All that he said was that the two corridors of the metro rail project in the first phase cover a distance of 31.5 m and its total estimated cost is Rs 10,183 crore.
“Both proposals are being sent to the central government for approval. The required provisions will be made after the approval,” he said.  A new aspect about the proposed route in Pimpri Chinchwad, as announced by Pawar, is that the route is being extended. The earlier metro rail route was between PCMC building in Pimpri and Swargate. However, in his budget speech, he described the route as between Nigdi and Swargate, apparently indicating that there will be an extension of the route from Pimpri to Nigdi, a distance of about six km.
The Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad municipal corporations have taken up the metro rail project in association with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. Both corporations have made token provisions in their budgets while asserting that there will be no shortage of funds for the project.
The Pune Municipal Corporation, senior officials said, has applied to the Registrar of Companies for formation of a Special Purpose Vehicle which will implement the project. The central government has already made a provision of Rs 10.01 crore in its union budget for 2013-14.
Pawar said Maharashtra is the most urbanized state in India and the government feels it is important to give due consideration to travel, accommodation and stay of citizens in urban areas. It is important to consider the proposals undertaken by the state with assistance from the central government, he said.
Under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, 40 new projects, in addition to the already approved projects, have been sent to the central government for sanction, he said.
A total of 12 projects of four-laning of roads covering a distance of 798 km are in progress. The works have been taken up by the public works department through privatization. A total of 22 projects of four laning covering 1,759 km road length costing Rs 8,060 crore are under consideration by the government, Pawar said. He did not specify any other details of the proposed projects.