Pune Metro

Pune, “The Queen of Deccan”, “The most Industrial district of Western Maharashtra” and “IT hub” than are some other prevalent identifiers such as “Marathi culture, Historical and Educational city” and city for “Research and Developmental Institutes, Military base” to mention a few. As on 2023, Pune has seen population growth to 7.0 million (PMC, PCMC, Cantonments included), from 5.0 million since 2011. After its inception in 1990 STPI for IT exports, expansions of 24x7 serving IT parks in newly merged villages in PMC, PCMC city limits, the movements of commuters from inner city to outward and back, has been challenging and tiring experience for one and all, due to several reasons. Some major IT parks of pune are in • Hinjewadi (North west) • Kharadi (North-east) • Viman Nagar (eastern) • Kothrud (west-central) with a travel distance in range 16-20 kms from each other. With these dynamics, the traffic management has been the major issue faced and more so in pune due to inadequate space in existing infrastructure to widen the roads. The rapid growth in road transport with private-public vehicle ownership as preferred and convenient mode, resulting in to Air Pollution, Noise pollution, Traffic congestions/slow moving traffic speeds and road accidents. The Metro as a solution is being implemented, effectively after foundation laid by Honourable PM in 2018, by MahaMetro (joint venture of State and Central Government) after a Delhi Metro Rail Corporation study report (2009-2015) and other institutional recommendations along with stake holders’ conclusions. First phase was inaugurated in March 2022 by Honourable PM from Vanaz- Kothrud to Garware College (part of Line2/Aqua line Vanaz to Ram wadi, 14.6 km) and PCMC Bhavan to Phugewadi. Presently functional segment being very small in terms of distance and number of commuters (compared to the total) on daily basis the impact is not seen or realised in terms of Air pollution improvement, increased speed of traffic and or de-congestion. The Second phase of Metro is due to be launched in June 2023 connecting PCMC Bhavan to Swargate (Part of Line 1/ Purple line - 16.5 km). This is expectedly a sizeable sample in terms of distance and Volume of traffic, to evaluate initial impact on traffic congestion or Speed of traffic and effect on Air pollution, Noise pollution by Road Transport. Significant number of people commuting in this part are expected to try this long-awaited option especially to or from PCMC areas, Pune Railway station or Swargate considering their present options, cost/time required to commute from/to these locations, parking difficulties involved to mention a few. The third phase of Metro consisting (Red) line 3 between Rajeev Gandhi- IT Park Hinjewadi to Civil Court with a distance of 23.3.KM, most awaited by IT professionals could provide sizeable impact on Pollution reduction and other significant parameters considered as part of its objectives. Hinjewadi, Viman Nagar, Kharadi, PCMC Swargate, Kothrud are all in its connectivity with “work in progress” as its status in 2023. Effective and sizeable impact on Air cleaning, Noise reduction, traffic movement / congestion in city and sub urban areas, in realistic terms for passengers /daily commuters from all directions, is expected after Line 3/Red line is commissioned in 2026 (estimated). As experienced presently by Pune residents and commuters, for past several years air pollution, noise level, traffic congestions, road accidents have been painful part of life despite efforts from civil societies, administrators by roping in several DP Roads and connectivity projects. Metro was deliberated duly and selected as a solution to reduce these problems significantly not only for meeting demands of city needs for traffic management with margins but also pave path for future growth and make the city smart.