The Centre has disbursed Rs 410 crore as the first tranche of the viability gap funding (VGF) of Rs 1,224.80 crore to Pune Metro Line III being built by Tata and Siemens consortium.
The Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) is spearheading the construction of the 23.203-km-line connecting the thriving IT hub of Hinjewadi and the central business district of Shivajinagar.
Being built at an estimated cost of Rs 8,313 crore, the fully elevated Metro project with 23 stations on the way, connects Baner Road, Balewadi, Aundh and Pune University.
Back in 2018, the state government had accorded approval for developing the project in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode on a design, build, finance, operate and transfer (DBFOT) basis for a 35-year concession extendable by 25 years.
Following this, in September 2019, a consortium comprising TRIL Urban Transport Pvt Ltd (a unit of Tata Realty and Infrastructure Ltd) and Siemens Project Ventures GmbH was awarded the project.
The consortium, a lone bidder, established a special purpose vehicle, Pune IT City Metro Rail Ltd (PITCMRL) to undertake the project.
The Centre will share Rs 1,224.80 crore of the total viability gap funding of Rs 2,351 crore sought by the Tata-Siemens consortium as grant for the project. The balance VGF of Rs 1,126.20 crore will be borne by the Maharashtra government.
The work on the project started in December 2021 and considering the 40-month completion timeline, the projection for operational readiness is March 2025.
“With the timely receipt of the first tranche from the central government, no other financial difficulties remain, and the project will progress as per schedule,” said Rahul Mahiwal, metropolitan commissioner of the PMRDA.
Connection To Phase 1
The Metro line will traverse the 23.3 km distance in under 40 minutes, connecting the Mann metro depot through Hinjewadi Park to Civil Court in Shivajinagar.
Currently, this route takes over an hour to traverse by road and the opening of the metro service will help ease the major traffic problem on the roads heading to Hinjewadi.
Also, Metro Line 3 will connect the Civil Court interchange station with a skywalk from where the passengers will be able to commute on the existing north-south corridor (Purple line) and east-west corridor (Aqua line).
The 17.5-km Purple line from Pimpri Chinchwad to Swargate and the 15.7-km Aqua line from Vanaz to Ramwadi are partially operational and will be fully operational by this year-end.