The Centre has nominated the European Investment Bank (EIB) to fund around 600 million euro of the estimated cost of €845 million for the first phase of Pune metro rail project even as the implementing agency, Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation (Maha-Metro), pushes for acquisition of land required to develop infrastructure for the project.
“The ministry of finance of the Union government has nominated EIB to fund 600 million euro for the first phase of Pune metro rail. Various options are being considered to raise the remaining €245 million of the estimated project and the option of French Development Agency (AFD) and KfW of Germany is being explored,” said Brijesh Dixit, managing director of Maha-Metro.
He said there was no immediate need of money as the funding by the government at the beginning is sufficient for the construction work planned this year. The Maha-Metro has started the infrastructure work of Pune metro rail in April for the 10.75-km route of PCMC to Rangehill, Dixit said the work began at fast pace within five months of the foundation stone laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 24.
The agency has re-tendered the work for Vanaz-to-Shivajinagar court route after getting high rates during the first tender process. “The rates quoted by the contractors were high so it was decided to invite re-tender for the construction of metro rail route from Vanaz to Shivajinagar court,” Dixit said.
The tenders for the construction of stations on PCMC to Rangehill route would be open on July 16 while the bidding process for the construction of station on Vanaz to Shivajinagar court route would be started soon, he added.
Dixit said that the Maha-Metro has completed the process of seeking land for the metro rail project from various authorities and was hopeful of getting them within two months. Asked about the opposition to providing the land of agriculture college and Vanaz garbage depot to develop a metro depot, he said, “The land of agriculture college belongs to the state government and it has, in principle, agreed to give the land for Pune metro rail project. Similarly, the garbage depot land at Vanaz too would be available soon.”
The interchange station at Shivajinagar court would be state-of-the-art building with a three-storey station which would be designed by a foreign architect, Dixit said, adding, “The Maha-Metro has also roped in experts from abroad to study and prepare plan for underground metro rail route from Budhwar Peth to Swargate.”
The underground metro rail route would be 20 metre below surface and the study report, along with the strategy for its construction, would be ready in one month, he said.
“It is challenging for us to construct the underground metro rail with proposed stations considering the dense locality. Since the area has maximum footfall, there can be no changes in the proposed route. So, a way has to be found to construct the underground metro rail route along with the stations,” Dixit said.
On the opposition to metro rail in the city by few citizens, he said, “There has been a perception that the Pune metro rail is going to benefit only two per cent of the city population which is incorrect. In fact, the 31-km of the first phase of Pune metro rail from PCMC to Swargate and Vanaz to Ramwadi would benefit almost half of its population as the route cuts across the city. Also, this was the beginning of metro rail project and the routes would be later extended to cover more areas.”
He said that Maha-Metro was also coordinating with the Pune Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (PMRDA) that is developing the metro rail route from Shivajinagar to Hinjewadi. “We are working together to develop a common station at Shivajinagar court,” Dixit said.