MAHARASHTRA (Metro Rail News): Brijesh Dixit is the managing director of the Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (Maha-Metro)
The metropolis of Pune has indeed become my karma bhoomi. As managing director of Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (Maha-Metro), I am heading the team which is committed to the time and within cost completion of the Pune metro rail project. Once completed, the project is destined to become a lifeline of Punekars.
Pune metro unmistakably seeks to reverse the trend of severe traffic congestion and pollution by providing a safe, secure, convenient, comfortable, affordable, inclusive and environment-friendly solution to the vexed and rapidly worsening urban transport problem bedeviling Punekars.
The Pune metro project developed by Maha-Metro is constructed at a total cost of ₹11,420 crore with equity funding in equal proportion from the government of India and the Maharashtra government. It is worth noting that both the municipal corporations of the city — Pune, and Pimpri-Chinchwad — have come forward with sizable grants to ensure timely completion of the project. The debt funding for the project is provided by AFD, the French funding agency.
The state-of-the-art modern metro rail system with a designed speed of 80 kmph, having modern signaling and telecommunication system and modern metro cars, is constructed as a two corridor project totaling 31.25 km in length; 30 stations and 2 metro-car maintenance depots.
The north-south corridor begins from Pimpri and Chinchwad municipal area and ends at Swargate with part underground and part elevated sections. This corridor is 16.6 km long and has 14 stations. The second corridor that connects the east with the west, starts from Vanaz and ends at Ramwadi and is 14.7 km long with 16 stations.
It is pertinent to mention that the project alignment traverses through some of the densest corridors of the city and once completed will significantly take away the current load from the city roads, in turn substantially alleviating the transportation woes of Punekars.
Pune metro which shall seamlessly integrate the unique city of rivers, hills and plains are designed to have key distinctive features. It shall make the commuter experience exhilarating and simultaneously enhance the environment of the city. Some such features are —
First, it is the unique architectural features and designs of stations which are constructed to merge seamlessly with the rich tradition of the history, heritage, and culture of the city.
Second, the stations have been carefully designed to meet the unique needs of all types of commuters, including the elderly, women, children and the disabled.
Third, to complete the project with quality, on time and within the cost, Pune metro after Nagpur. Metro has become the second project in the country to implement the modern project management system known as 5D BIM (building information modeling).
Fourth, Pune metro stations and other buildings are designed not only as green buildings, but also the entire metro network will generate abundant solar power on the rooftops of station buildings, offices, and depots. These will ensure 65% of the total power needs of the metro rail will be met by solar energy.
Fifth, the project by its nature has already become an engine of job creation and economic growth during the construction phase and will get further impetus during the operation phase
Sixth, the commuters on Pune metro rail will have seamless travel experience with multi-modal integration, common mobility card for all modes of transport and efficient and high-quality feeder service.
Finally, unlike other metro systems and very much like Nagpur metro being constructed by Maha-Metro, fare-box revenue of Pune metro will be substantially augmented by non-fare box revenue using property development at stations and depots and transit-oriented development.
It will be no exaggeration to say that non-fare box revenue will comprise minimum of 60% of the total revenue.
The vision for Pune metro is to give a world-class sustainable urban transport to the city that Punekars will be proud of.
My earliest memories of Pune
My first tryst with Pune was in 1982 when I arrived here as a young railway engineer for training at Indian Railway Institute of Civil Engineers (IRICEN). Then the city widely dubbed as “Queen of the Deccan” had a population of barely 1.2 million. Due to the preponderance of bicycles dotting its landscape, Pune acquired the tag of ‘City of Bicycles”. As I immersed in the body fabric of Pune and Punekars, in no time I was awestruck with the great lineage of history, heritage and culture of the city.
One change that I want to see in Pune: Vision for Pune is to give a world-class sustainable urban transport to the city that Punekars will be proud of.