Urban Railways

Maharashtra government allocates ₹490 crore to Maha Metro

The state government budget tabled on Monday, 8th March 2021, by Maharashtra finance minister Ajit Pawar for the financial year 2021-22, allocated a total of ₹490 crore for the Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation (Maha Metro) of which ₹302 crore is for Pune, and Rs188 crore for the Nagpur Metro.

The Pune Metro rail service is likely to start its operation in a few stretches of the two routes, Swargate to Pimpri Chinchwad and Vanaz to Ramwadi, soon. The detailed project report for the proposed extension of the route is also likely to be finalised in the coming year.

Though the sanctioned amount for Nagpur Metro is about Rs 1.5 crore less than that demanded by MahaMetro, the agency is satisfied. “It is very close to the amount we needed. Already over 90% of the work of pahse-1 project is complete. Now with the sanctioned amount, we will finish the remaining work at a fast pace,” officials said.

While central government had paid its full share of the project, the state government has to pay Rs 435.34 crore in total. It had earlier approved Rs 184 crore and assured to make allocation for the same in the financial budget.

However, as reported by TOI recently, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) have refused to pay their share, which totals over Rs550 crore. NIT and NMC both have 5% share in the Rs 8,680 crore project. Their share is Rs 434 crore each. NIT has to pay Rs 191 crore to MahaMetro as rest of the amount has been paid in the form of land. NMC too has provided land and now has to pay Rs 367 crore.

Some days ago, the then NIT chairperson Sheetal Ugale had written to the state government asking it waive off its share in Nagpur Metro project. Ugale said NIT had been dissolved and hence had no source of revenue.

However, MahaMetro has set a target of completing the Nagpur Metro project by December 2021 and hence needs money in the next few months. “We are taking follow-ups from both NIT and NMC, and we are hoping to get the funds soon,” an official said.