Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his day-long visit here on Tuesday, lavished several mega-projects on Pune in different sectors worth around Rs 15,000 crore as the election season approaches.
They include the new Pune Metro lines and trains, homes built under various schemes, foundation stones for other housing projects, and a waste-to-energy plant for the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC).
The PM flagged off trains marking the inauguration of services on the completed sections of two corridors of Pune Metro Phase I – Phugewadi to Civil Court stations and Garware College to Ruby Hall Clinic stations. The foundation stone for this project was laid by him in 2016.
Moving close towards the mission of Housing For All, the PM handed over more than 1,280 houses constructed under the Prime Minister Awas Yojana (PMAY) by the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) and 2,650 PMAY houses built by Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).
Modi also laid the foundation stones for around 1,190 PMAY houses to be constructed by PCMC and another 6,400 houses which shall be built by Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA)
The PM inaugurated a Rs 300-crore ‘Waste to Energy Plant’ in PCMC which will use up to about 2.5 lakh MT of waste annually to produce electricity.
Incidentally, the new Pune Metro lines will link up major places in Pune like Shivaji Nagar, Civil Court, PMC Office, RTO and the railway station, affording people with modern, environment-friendly mass rapid urban transport systems all over India.
The designs of some of the Pune Metro stations are inspired from the legendary Maratha warrior king, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
For instance, the Chhatrapati Sambhaji Udyan and Deccan Gymkhana stations have a unique design of the ‘Mavala Pagdi’ — a headgear worn by the soldiers of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, while the Shivaji Nagar underground station has a distinctive design of forts constructed by the great ruler.
The Civil Court metro station’s unique feature is that it is among the deepest metro stations in the country, with a deepest point of 33.1 meres, but the station roof is designed such that direct sunlight falls on the platform.
Speaking on the occasion, Modi lauded Pune as a vibrant city with a glorious history that gives momentum to the country’s economy, and how it has contributed hugely to the Indian Independence movement by giving many freedom heroes including Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, who continues to inspire even today.
Assuring quality infrastructure for Pune and other parts of India, the PM said that before 2014, the country had only 250 kms of Metro networks which has now crossed 800 kms and work is on to achieve 1000-kms soon.
Earlier, only five cities in India had metro lines, while today they are functioning in 20 cities including Pune, Mumbai and Nagpur, and described it as a ‘lifeline for cities of modern India’.
He cited examples of the development of new expressways, railways and airports in Maharashtra, and the rail network has seen a 12-fold hike in expenditure as compared with the pre-2014 period.
Present on the occasion were Governor Ramesh Bais, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy CMs Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar, other senior officials and invitees.