Maharashtra to stand by DMRC’s elevated metro proposal

August 14, 2013


PUNE: The state government will stick to the elevated metro plan proposed by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for Pune, setting aside all the objections raised by NGOs, civic groups and the state finance department, deputy chief minister AjitPawar said on Saturday.


He was speaking during an interaction with the media at the Pune Union of Working Journalists.


Pawar said, “It is a fact that the metro project has been delayed. We have heard all the suggestions made by NGOs, experts, citizens and political parties. For the last few years the city has debated about (the merits and demerits of) underground and elevated metro. However, the fact is the city cannot afford an underground metro and hence we have decided to go ahead with the original plan (proposed by the DMRC).”


Pawar said, however, the state was not in a position to announce an exact date of completion for the metro project.


He added, “Recently, a delegation from a citizens’ group headed by Vijay Kelkar submitted a memorandum saying Pune should have an underground metro. We need to understand that an underground metro project is unaffordable and the resultant fares will also be high. The motive to have public transport will be defeated if citizens refuse to use metro because of high fares.”


Pawar said the state finance department has raised objections to the financial model for the project. “The state government will overrule objections raised by the finance department and go ahead with the project. The finance department has its own views, which are not binding on the cabinet. (For instance), the proposal of pensions for MLAs was opposed by the finance department, but the cabinet approved it.”


Finance department officials have suggested that the municipal corporation’s share in the total project cost be hiked to 20% from the existing 10%, while the state and central governments should put in 20% each. The rest should be raised by the Special Purpose Vehicle.



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