Maharashtra CM wants to know financial model for underground Metro Project in Pune

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Pune: The Maharashtra Government wants supporters of underground metro in the city to come out with a viable financial model for the project ahead of the chief minister’s meeting with stakeholders in Pune.

Chief Minister Shri Devendra Fadnavis, who was in Pune on Tuesday, made it clear that the state government would not undertake an underground metro project owing to the massive investment required. However, he added that the state government would still like to listen to the project’s supporters.

Advocates of underground metro, led by city MP Anil Shirole, have been insisting that the state government should scrap the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s report proposing an elevated metro. Underground metro is a more sustainable form of transport than the elevated metro, Shirole has repeatedly said. City NGOs have also come out in support of underground metro.

According to government sources, the state urban development department wants supporters of underground metro to present a plan to raise funds for such a project to the chief minister during the proposed meeting. The state is worried that the project cost is skyrocketing because of the delay and that in the current circumstances it is difficult to raise funds even for the elevated metro.

In October 2013, the state government decided to go ahead with the metro rail in Pune. The cabinet revised the completion deadline of the first phase from 2014 to 2021.

The Pune Metro project will now cost Rs 11, 802 crore, up from Rs 10,183 crore in 2013. The delay in the execution of the project has resulted in an upward revision of over Rs 1,700 crore in the draft budget for 2015-16 presented by municipal commissioner Kunal Kumar.

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