Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Mumbai and Pune on December 24 to inaugurate the Metro projects, days ahead of elections to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) next year. “The PMO has given consent for inauguration of the Metro projects in Mumbai and Pune,” a source told The Indian Express.
Modi’s visit is significant as the BJP readies for a fierce contest against the Shiv Sena in the BMC polls. Pune is another battleground where the BJP wants to make inroads in the Congress-NCP’s traditional turf. The BMC with a mammoth budget of Rs 35,000 crore has been high on the BJP’s political agenda.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has been aggressively pushing the mega-infrastructure projects across Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur. The government has tied up for financial loans with foreign companies including Japan’s JICA for the eight Metro corridors in Mumbai. The 73-km stretch criss-crossing Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar; Dahisar-Mankhurd; Dahisar-DN Nagar; Colaba-Bandra-Seepz; Wadala-Ghatkopar-Mulund-Teen Hath Naka-Kasarvada; Thane-Bhiwandi-Ulhasnagar; Swami Samarth Nagar-Jogeshwari-Kanjurmarg; Andheri (East)-Dahisar, encompassing entire Mumbai and its suburbs will cost Rs 81,992 crore.
The Metro network is going to provide a parallel network to the local trains with a capacity to carry 80 lakh passengers. Local trains carry up to 70 lakh people daily.
The government has announced that the Nagpur Metro Corporation will take up the Rs 11,522-crore Pune Metro project. The government has also tied up with the China Railway Corporation Company to set up a manufacturing unit in Nagpur to provide 69 coaches for Nagpur Metro and an equal number for Pune. The Nagpur Metro work is estimated to cost Rs 8,680 crore.