Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has directed Pune Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (PMRDA) to explore the possibility of a two-tier flyovers, comprising a vehicular thoroughfare and a Metro viaduct, at three key junctions in the city.
PMRDA is developing the Hinjewadi-Shivajinagar corridor of the Pune Metro rail project. The Deputy CM’s suggestion if implemented, would entail the demolition of the existing flyovers at University Chowk, E-Square Chowk and RBI Chowk.
The proposal calls for the flyover and the Metro viaduct to come up on the same pillars, along the lines of the double-decker flyover coming up at Nal Stop on Karve Road. So far, the authorities had considered the possibility of maintaining the existing University flyover and construct the elevated Metro line above it.
Sources in the state government said that with the 2022 deadline for all the Metro lines to become operational, Pawar’s fresh directive could cause a delay and also increase the project cost by over Rs 600 crore.
“These flyovers were constructed between 2007-10. Their demolition would put a huge burden on state exchequer,” a senior government official said. As per the agreement between the project executor and PMRDA signed last September, March-end was the date for the financial closure of the project, within three years of which the project must be completed. “Demolishing the flyover and reconstructing a two-tier structure would extend the operational period by two more years. This would be a violation of the agreement,” a source said.
Transport experts from the city have also opposed the construction of the Metro lines with flyovers. “Why give the option of taking out one’s private vehicle when there is a Metro line on the same route?” one expert said. Meanwhile, The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has submitted the initial project report for the proposed 18 km elevated ShivajinagarShewalwadi Metro corridor. PMRDA officials said DMRC would soon ready the detailed project report (DPR).