MahaMetro to complete Phase-I of Pune Metro by end of 2022

With the two recently inaugurated Metro routes in Pune getting good public response, MahaMetro, has now set a target of completing 33.2 kilometres of Phase-I by the end of December. To begin with, it is targeting the stretch from Phugewadi to Shivajinagar.

Last Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated two stretches of Pune Metro rail routes – Garware college to Vanaz station (5 kilometres) and PCMC headquarters or Pimpri to Phugewadi (7 kilometres). Both the routes have five stations each.

The first phase includes a 15.7km-elevated stretch from Vanaz to Ramwadi having 16 stations, 11.4km-elevated route from the PCMC to Swargate with 14 stations, and a 6km-underground route. The entire stretch comprises 33 kilometres.

MahaMetro plans to complete the work on the 4.5-km stretch from Phugewadi to Range Hills on the PCMC to Swargate route by the end of March. It will then complete the underground stretch of 2.46 kms from Range Hills to Shivajinagar court in June and the underground stretch of 3.6 kms from Shivajinagar to Swargate, officials said.

The 2.4km stretch on Vanaz to Ramwadi route from Garware college to Shivajinagar court would be completed in April and a further extension of 4 kms till Bund Garden will be completed in May, while the last stretch of 4.3 kms from Bund Garden to Ramwadi would be completed by the end of August.

“We are confident of completing the work as per the deadline. The good response to Pune Metro rail has put public pressure on us to complete the work,” said a Metro official.

However, the opening of the new stretches would be decided based on the clearance from various railway authorities inspecting the routes and stations.

Further, MahaMetro is expecting more responsibility coming in with the extension of Metro rail network from Pimpri-Chinchwad to Nigdi and Swargate to Katraj on the PCMC to Swargate route. Similarly, the work on extending the Metro route from Ramwadi to Wagholi and Vanaz to Chandni Chowk would start in the coming months, officials said.

The Pune Metro rail has also undertaken the process of preparing detailed project report (DPR) for routes from Swargate to Sinahagad Road, Swargate to Hadapsar, Hadapsar to Kharadi, and Nal Stop to Warje.

During the inauguration function, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar urged the prime minister to fund the extension of the Metro rail project so that the network could be set up across the city.

The inauguration of Pune Metro in Pimpri-Chinchwad has not only generated enthusiasm in the industrial city but also in areas outside the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) limits. People from Talegaon, Lonavala, Manchar, Rajgurunagar are coming in big numbers to experience the Metro ride like the local residents, said officials.

The enthusiasm, Metro officials added, will get much bigger when other key stations like Bopodi, Dapodi and Shivajinagar are inaugurated.

The Shivajinagar station is the most significant for residents in Pimpri-Chinchwad and its nearby areas. Thousands of college- and office-goers and shopkeepers head to Pune city every day from Pimpri-Chinchwad. The Pune-Mumbai highway is a big headache for them. From Pimpri, it takes 45 minutes or more than one hour or, at times, even one-and-a-half hour to reach Shivajinagar in case the traffic on the highway gets stuck. During the monsoon, such situations on the water-logged highway are a common sight.

“Once the work gets completed till Shivajinagar, it will open a floodgate of sorts. We believe we will get scores of commuters who will enjoy the quick ride till Shivajinagar,” said Atul Gadgil, director of MahaMetro.

MahaMetro is expecting Bopodi and Khadki stations on Corridor one – from Pimpri to Swargate – to be opened by May. “By June, we expect to start our service right up to the Shivajinagar area, which has two stations. One near the All India Radio and another near the civil court premises,” said Gadgil.

Shivajinagar is the hub of Pune city. Prominent colleges like Fergusson and Modern are located in this area. And so are popular forts like Shaniwarwada and Lal Mahal. Tulshibaug, which is a shopping paradise for the middle class, is visited by hundreds of residents from Pimpri-Chinchwad and its surrounding areas practically every day.

Metro officials said the entire traffic scenario in Pune city will change once the Metro reaches Shivajinagar. “It will certainly lead to less use of personal vehicles. If Metro is offering a ride to Shivajinagar in 20 minutes from Pimpri, why wouldn’t there be a mad rush?” asked Metro officials. Currently, from Pimpri to Phugewadi, a Metro train is available every half an hour. After the Metro reaches Shivajinagar, a rake will be available every five minute, officials said.

A proposal to extend the Metro stretch till Nigdi, which is on the outskirts of Pimpri-Chinchwad, has been sent to the Centre by MahaMetro. “It would require Rs 950 crore to extend the Metro beyond Pimpri and up to Nigdi. We are awaiting the Union government’s nod for this,” said Gadgil.

“Our plan to extend the Pune Metro up to Katraj at a cost of Rs. 3,600 crore is also pending with the state government,” he said.

A large number of residents from Pimpri-Chinchwad generally head to Shivajinagar, Swargate, Katraj and Pune station area every day for various purposes. They either use personal vehicles or travel in PMPML buses and local trains.

Besides focussing hard on getting the stations completed, MahaMetro is also looking at generating revenue to sustain the project. “We are going to set up four commercial complexes at four spots on PPP basis, which will help us generate revenue,” said officials.

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