Opposition by political parties over the location of a depot, concerns about construction of a proposed track through a crowded area, and apprehensions by environmentalists about another track: these are some of the many hurdles before Corridor 2 of the Pune Metro project.
Corridor 2, a 14.665-km track, will be constructed between Vanaz and Ramwadi.
The proposed Metro depot at Vanaz has been a bone of contention, with various political parties pushing for a memorial of warrior king Shivaji at the same location. The ball is now in the court of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who has to take a final decision after consulting with senior leaders of various parties.
“No decision has been made about the land for the Metro depot… so there is no plan yet for its construction. We will only go ahead after the land is available for purpose,” said an official with the Metro project.
Meanwhile, local residents are apprehensive that work on Corridor 2, which passes through Karve Road — the only access road to Kothrud, Paud and Warje — would create more chaos on a road that already struggles with heavy traffic. “As per the traffic plan for the area, which will be implemented during construction of the Metro route, heavy vehicles such as state transport buses would be banned,” said the official.
PMC Standing Committee Chairperson Murlidhar Mohol said he has urged the civic administration to develop more connecting roads to the area before work for the Metro project starts in a full-fledged manner. “The main Karve Road provides direct access… and when work for Metro rail begins on a large scale, it will cause further chaos on the crowded road. It is necessary to develop connecting roads in the area for the convenience of residents,” he said.
The stretch from Deccan to Shivajinagar has also faced its own share of issues. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which prepared the DPR for Pune Metro, had proposed an elevated track through J M Road. Local residents then pushed for an underground Metro track on this stretch, but the proposal was ruled out due to heavy expenditure, and a realignment was planned alongside Mutha river. Even this plan has faced opposition from environmentalists, who have challenged it in the National Green Tribunal. While work on the stretch has started, NGT has appointed an expert committee to recommend measures to ensure there is minimum damage to the river.
The proposed construction of Metro tracks on Nagar Road, where the PMC recently started its BRTS service, has also raised questions. “The Pune Metro rail routes were proposed by the DMRC… we are merely implementing them,” said Brijesh Dixit, managing director, MahaMetro, during a recent meeting.
“The BRTS service on the route would have to be discontinued till work on the Metro project is complete. It will be resumed later on,” said the official associated with the Pune Metro project.
PMC Traffic Planner Srinivas Bonala said, “The BRTS is going to support the metro rail service. The Metro rail can’t be shifted…”.
Yet another issue is the demand to extend the route on both sides, from Vanaz to Chandni Chowk, and from Ramwadi to Wagholi.
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