New Delhi: With the central government allocating Rs 950 crore to the Pune Metro Rail project and nearly one-third of the geo-technical survey being complete, work on the Pune Metro will begin soon. The first stretch of 5 km could be ready as early as 2019, Brijesh Dixit, MD of Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation (Maha-Metro), said. The company could soon start the tendering process for the Pune Metro, he said. Work on the project would start in April 2017 and be completed by 2021.
According to Dixit, this is a rare case where funds of this magnitude have been allotted in the first year of execution, considering the project was approved just a couple of months ago. This indicated confidence in the progress made so far and the sense of urgency the government has to develop new public transport systems in important cities like Pune. The state government is expected to make significant budgetary provision when the state budget is presented during the budget session of the Assembly which starts on March 6.
Maha-Metro is a JV of the government of India and the government of Maharashtra that is executing the R11,420-crore Pune Metro project. Maha-Metro will be funded by the central and state governments with both putting in 40%, while Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporations put 10% and the remaining to be raised from external agencies.
Maha Metro is in talks with World Bank and Asian Infrastructure Finance Institution and others for raising R6,500 crore. With a population of 55 lakh the Pune Metro is expected to be viable for ridership of around 3.5 lakh which is not even 10% of the population, Dixit said. Pune Metro has two routes in the first phase with a 16.59-km line and a 14.93-km line running in East-West and North-South directions. Most of it is elevated with 5 km underground.
Ground surveys are being carried out across the city and almost one-third of the geo-technical survey has been completed till date. The Pimpri Chinchwad to Agricultural College has been identified as priority section and tendering for this will be floated in last week of February.
No major delays are anticipated in the land acquisition process as of the total land required, a significant part belongs to the government and some of the land is privately owned. Around R900 crore is set aside for land acquisition