Proposed neo-metro project in Pune could be delayed


Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has instructed officials not to implement the neo-metro project in Pune until a similar project is carried out elsewhere. A related plan in Nashik remains on paper.

Pawar was reviewing the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the proposed Neo-Metro project on the 36 km section of High Capacity Mass Transit (HCMTR) route submitted by Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (Maha-Metro) the last week.

“Did the “neo-metro” project start somewhere in Maharashtra? If we start a project and it fails, what do we do? Let the project start in Nashik before making a decision. Once the new head of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is elected, we will discuss this project,” Pawar said.

Atul Gadgil, Director of Maha-Metro, said, “We presented Maha-Metro DPR Phase 2, which is 82.5 km long, to the Deputy CM. It includes a neo-metro line from HCMTR. The deputy CM did not reject the project, but wait until the Nashik plan takes off.

Maha-Metro is already working on the 32 km Nashik neo-metro project after getting a tentative green light from the Union government. This is a one-of-a-kind project in the country. The Nashik metro project is expected to cost around Rs2,100 crore compared to Rs8,000 plus crore, the amount it would have cost to build a rail metro.

The 82.5 km long phase 2 corridor connects Vanaz to Chandani chowk (1.5 km), Ramwadi to Wagholi (12 km), Hadapsar to Kharadi (5 km), Swargate to Hadapsar (7 km), Khadakwasla at Swargate (13 kilometres), SNDT at Warje (8 km) and HCMTR at PMC (36 km).

It was in 1986 that PMC decided to build an internal “ring road” with the aim of expanding Pune. Accordingly, PMC had prepared the plan for the HCMTR project. Due to lack of land acquisition and financial difficulties, the project remained on paper. The former government led by Devendra Fadnavis tried to push the project, but Fadnavis (then CM) suggested that it was difficult to implement the project at the time and different options were being considered.

Later, Pawar reviewed the project. Finally, last year, the option of the neo-metro on the HCMTR route was considered and Maha-Metro was commissioned to prepare a DPR. Although Maha-Metro prepared the DPR, Pawar suggested that the final decision will only be made after the next municipal elections.


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