Pune Metro project set to get a leg-up

PMC will be issuing a notification in 2 days, inviting suggestions or objections regarding proposed Metro routes from the public

पुणे Pune:  In a major boost for the proposed Metro in the city, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to move one step ahead towards achieving the vision of superfast connectivity around the city. The civic body is all set to issue a notification to the public, inviting their suggestions or objections regarding the proposed Metro routes in the next two days.

Being conducted in accordance with an order issued by the State government, this initiative by PMC is likely to be instrumental in getting a fast green light for the Pune Metro project from the Centre. Prashant Waghmare, city engineer at PMC, said, “In the coming days, we are going to conduct a suggestion-andobjection exercise on the proposed Metro project, which is a part of the draft Development Plan (DP) of the old city limits.

We will invite suggestions from the public on issues such as allocating Floor Space Index (FSI) of 4 on a 500-metre area on both sides of the corridors among others. The public can register their suggestions and objections with the civic body for a period of one month from the date of issuing the notification.”

Earlier, in June 2012, the State cabinet had approved the 14.925-km elevated route from Vanaz to Ramwadi, while deciding that Phase-I of the project would be completed by 2017. In October 2013, the State cabinet had approved the Metro project for Pune, while pushing the completion deadline of Phase-I to 2021. A Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) report had originally estimated that the project will be completed by May 30, 2014. At present, the Pune Metro proposal has been pending with the Central government’s Urban Development Ministry for final approval.

In February 2014, the ministry had given an in-principle approval for the project. Following this, a high-level committee of the State government instructed PMC to carry out a special suggestion and objection procedure for the project.

The proposed Metro project is part of the old city DP, which is not approved yet. It was the committee that suggested that PMC carry out a public suggestion and objection exercise to chalk out the different Metro routes throughout the city. Some of the key suggestions put to the public as part of this program concern the regulations for development along the Metro influence zone in a non-congested areas, along the belt on either side of the Metro corridors as shown in the DP, allowing the basic FSI of 1 to be enhanced to a maximum of 4 for the purpose of the project.

The revised estimated cost of the project is now pegged at Rs 10,183 crore, with the Chinchwad-Swargate corridor estimated to cost Rs 6,960 crore and the Vanaz-Ramwadi route pegged to cost Rs 3,223 crore.

The total cost (for both corridors) has increased by nearly Rs 2,199 crore, as compared to the estimated cost in 2009. State officials fear that even the revised cost estimates will have to be worked out considering the new deadline. “The cost of the project has already started escalating and any further delay would add to the burden on the project finances,” added Waghmare.