February 17 2020
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation sticks
20 March 2012

While the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has asked the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) about the 'technical and financial parameters' of an underground metro in the Vanaz to Ramwadi corridor, the DMRC has reiterated that the underground metro is not a feasible idea for the city.

Speaking to TOI on Monday, municipal commissioner Mahesh Pathak said, "The PMC sent an official letter (January 17) to the DMRC asking about the feasibility of an underground metro after the outgoing General Body (GB) of the PMC approved a resolution for the same in December 2011. We had detailed discussions soon after with the DMRC officials in this regard and an official reply is awaited."

However, DMRC officials are unwilling to change their stand. A senior DMRC official told TOI on Monday on the condition of anonymity that they have repeatedly communicated to the PMC and the state government that the underground metro is an 'unfeasible' option for Pune, considering three factors - availability of funds, technical feasibility and security. The DMRC official said that metro rails are capital-intensive and building even a small stretch costs hundreds of crores of rupees.

In the letter sent on January 17, the PMC said, "The proposal of an elevated metro corridor on the Vanaz to Ramwadi corridor is sanctioned in principle by the Government of Maharashtra... However, the GB of the PMC recently passed a resolution that all metro routes in Pune city should be underground... On this background, you are requested to send your opinion by considering all technical and financial parameters regarding this resolution."

The DMRC official said the official reply on the underground metro will be sent to the PMC this week.

He said that according to the DMRC, technical feasibility is of major concern in the underground metro project. Wherever possible, planners prefer the elevated metro to the underground one. This is because the engineering complexities and associated risks of cost and time overruns are much less for elevated stretches, as are the operation costs. If underground stations and tunnels have to be built under the cut-and-cover method, it may require acquisition of far more private and government land than an elevated stretch on road medians would need. Another aspect of concern is security. Metros are usually high on the hit list of terrorists and any attack in the underground portion leading to derailment or collision is likely to cause five times more damage than on an elevated section.

DMRC's stand is pertinent as the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is of the opinion that the city requires an underground metro. Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar has said that an underground metro is sustainable. Interestingly, till barely a few months ago, the NCP was in favour of an elevated metro. Political observers said the turnaround has come about because the party feels the Congress has garnered too much credit for the metro rail project. 



Related Stories