Urban Railways

Maha Dy CM pushes for fast Hinjewadi-Shivajinagar Metro work

Maharashtra Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar on Monday stressed speeding up the land acquisition process for the third Metro line connecting Hinjewadi and Shivajinagar and lobbied for early execution of the Shivajinagar-Hadapsar stretch of the mass transit system.

Pawar, who is also the guardian minister of Pune, raised the issued at a meeting held in Mumbai on various projects carried out by the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA). The NCP veteran also emphasized on good road and last-mile connectivity to the proposed airport in Purandar — a project that was announced in October 2016 but has not seen much development since then.

During Monday’s meeting, the new government made a department-wise review of the projects proposed by the previous dispensation and discussed deadlines of all the schemes executed by the PMRDA.

The deputy CM, however, did not discuss the proposed Hyperloop project connecting Pune and Mumbai during the meeting. In the past too, NCP had expressed doubts about the feasibility of the project.

The second phase of the 16-km Metro line, from the civil court in Shivajinagar to Hadapsar (16km), also came up for discussions during the meeting. This facility assumes significance for the last-mile connectivity to the proposed airport.

The deputy CM pledged to speed up transfer of 6.25 hectares of government land to put the third line of Metro on the fast track — a facility that will reduce traffic snarls at the IT hub of Hinjewadi. The 23.3km third Metro corridor between Hinjewadi and Shivajinagar is expected to become operational by 2023.

Officials said the first 8 km of the third line stretch (Hinjewadi to Balewadi) was likely to be operational by the end of 2021 and the rest of the stretch by January 2023. The entire Metro corridor was initially expected to be ready in 2022, but the deadline was extended because of some issues at two stretches — University Circle and Kamgar Putla slums.

Monday’s meeting was attended by PMRDA commissioner Vikram Kumar, planner Vivek Kharwadkar and additional commissioner Pravinkumar Deore, among others.