Expressing confidence that all three lines of the Pune Metro project would be completed by 2022, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar on Friday said a 12-km stretch across both the phases of the Metro will be completed by March.
Speaking after reviewing a number of projects concerning Pune district at a meeting of the district development coordination and monitoring committee (DISHA), Mr. Javadekar said the foundation stone for the Hinjewadi Line will be laid by next month as well.
The initial process for the Hinjewadi Metro line has been completed while the land transfer process is expected to be done by the end of March, he said.
In June last year, the Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation (MahaMetro) had announced that it would complete the 12-km stretch comprising 7 km on Line 1 from Pimpri to Swargate and a 5 km stretch on the Vanaz-Ramwadi Line 2 by the end of December 2019.
MahaMetro had fast-tracked the completion of this stretch in keeping with the Prime Ministers wish of seeing the Pune Metro running by the year-end. However, the corporation failed to stick to its deadline.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone for the 11,420-crore project in December 2016, just ahead of polls to the Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad civic bodies.
Speaking on other projects concerning Pune, Mr. Javadekar said the Mula Mutha river cleaning project is going to be expedited and that meetings at both Central and State levels have been planned. He reiterated that the loan given by the Japan International Cooperation Agency for the project will be repaid by the Centre, and not by the State government or the Pune Municipal Corporation.
Responding to questions on the air quality in Delhi, he claimed that pollution levels in the national capital had come down significantly.
We [the Centre] have spent 17,000 crore on the Eastern Peripheral Expressway and the Western Peripheral Expressway, which have provided an alternative route to around 60,000 vehicles which used to transit via Delhi. We are continuing to work on several fronts to reduce pollution and combat climate change, he said.