Pune metro plans rest on Centre’s vision

पुणे Pune: The Pune metro project got no specific mention in the Budget. But there is hope as it did say that metro rail systems, including light rail systems, have been useful in decongesting large citiesm

“For two million plus cities, planning of metro projects must begin now. The government will encourage development of metro rail systems, including light rail systems, in the PPP mode, which will be supported by the central government through viability gap funding,” said finance minister Arun Jaitley, while presenting the BJP government’s first budget.

In February, the UPA government had accorded an in-principle approval for the elevated Pune metro plan which includes two corridors – PCMC building to Swargate and Vanaz to Ramwadi, covering a total distance of 31.51 km. The Centre was expected to issue a government resolution (GR) about the next action and other details for the project. However, nothing concrete has come up.

The metro may be in the shadows, but the standing committee of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) last month, approved the light rail project. The train route has been planned from Shivajinagar to Hinjewadi with 21 stations in between. It will cover 21.60km, of which 6.35km will be in Pune city areas. It will be elevated as well as along the road.

A Japanese company has given financial support to design the plan and will also prepare a detailed feasibility report. The train aims to connect core city areas to locations with high concentration of information technology companies.

Standing committee chairman Bapusaheb Karne said that the PMC will pursue the metro and light rail project with the state and Centre.

Member of Parliament Anil Shirole said he will take up the metro project with the government and ensure that it is launched soon with amendments.

He added, “It would be inappropriate to implement the metro project without rectifying the mistakes in the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation report. Experts have pointed out the flaws in the report and we will ensure that the required amendments are made. We are not against the metro, but we will not accept in its present form.”