The Urban Development Department Ministry said the four kilometre extension from Pimpri to Nigdi will require an additional expenditure of Rs 946.76 crore.
The long-pending demand of residents of Pimpri-Chinchwad will finally see the light of day as the state government has approved extension of Pune Metro from Pimpri to Nigdi. The decision was taken at a meeting presided over by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai.
According to the Urban Development Department Ministry release, the state cabinet has approved the Pimpri to Nigdi Corridor One elevated route. “This will be the additional route as the old route from Pimpri to Swargate has been revised,” the ministry said.
The Ministry said the four kilometre extension from Pimpri to Nigdi will require an additional expenditure of Rs 946.76 crore. “The state government will take responsibility of providing Rs 170.3 crore,” the Ministry said.
The exact length of the route is 4.41 km. And it will be implemented by the Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation. “The central government will provide 10 per cent of the funds,” the Ministry said, adding that 4.95 lakh commuters are expected to travel on Nigdi to Swargate route by 2023.
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Pune Metro spokesperson Hemant Sonawane said, “The state government’s today’s decision will now go for final approval to the central government. The Centre had earlier given in-principle approval to the route extension. It had however conveyed that it would provide 10 per cent of the funds for the extended route.”
Sonawane said as per earlier practice, the central and state government provide 20 per cent funds each. “But since the central government had said it would provide 10 per cent funds, the matter had come before the state government which approved the project today. Now, the Centre will provide 10 per cent funds while state and PCMC will provide 30 per cent of funds. We will raise 60 per cent loan for the project,” he said, adding that there will be three stations between Pimpri and Nigdi. The three stations will be at Nigdi, Akurdi and Chinchwad.
The issue had been raging since 2015. Days after DPR was approved for Corridor One from Pimpri to Nigdi, local activists, civic conscious citizens had been protesting about it and demanding that route be extended from Pimpri to Nigdi.
Advocate Sushil Mancharkar, a resident of Nehrunagar, said Pimpri to Swargate route made no sense as the major commuter load comes from areas like Nigdi, Akurdi and Chinchwad. “These three suburbs provide major chunk of commuter population. If someone boards a bus from Pimpri, the next major stop is only at Kasarwadi. Phugewadi and Dapodi do not have much commuter crowd. Therefore, to start the Metro from Pimpri made sense. Only from Nigdi, It will ensure that large population of Pimpri-Chinchwad will travel by metro services,” Mancharkar said.
Welcoming the move, activist Raju Latamble said, “This is a major and long pending step which will gladden the heart of residents of Pimpri-Chinchwad. In the first place itself, we did not understand how could the ignore areas like Nigdi and Chinchwad. It seems like Pune Metro was ill-advised or its own officials had no clue what is best and from where to run Metro in Pimpri-Chinchwad.”
Hailing the approval for Pimpri to Nigdi route, Amol Deshpande, founder-member of Pimpri-Chinchwad Citizens Forum said, “Citizens had been demanding Nigdi to Swargate Metro from 2013. We had in fact submitted our memorandum to then municipal commissioner Shrikar Pardesh, urging him to run Metro up to Nigdi. The move will benefit thousands of commuters who live in Nigdi, Akurdi, Kalbhornagar and Chinchwad.”
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