The long-pending city metro project, which recently showed signs of getting delayed further, has received an in-principal approval from the Centre, announced Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan while inaugurating the new Bundgarden bridge yesterday.
"Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath has given his initial approval and we are working towards implementing the project at the earliest," he said. The new Bundgarden bridge has been built parallel to the Fitzgerald Bridge. The new bridge has been christened the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Setu.
"We are also working out the financial model (of the metro project) with the various agencies involved. Financial engineering is a crucial part of the project and requires careful planning and deliberation", Chavan said. The CM also talked about increasing number of low cost houses in the city and promised faster implementation of the Basic Services for the Urban Poor (BSUP) programme.
State Forests Minister Patangrao Kadam, Mayor Mohansingh Rajpal, Corporators Arvind Shinde, Aba Bagul, Abhay Chajjed, Avinash Salvi and Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) Commissioner Mahesh Pathak were also present at the event. Commenting on the bridge, Chavan said it was a major achievement in strengthening the city's infrastructure. "People of Pune have now got a major bridge that will go a long way in solving the traffic problem in this part of the city", he added.
The 400-metre-long and 21-metre-wide bridge will come as a relief for motorists headed for Nagar Road
and Vimanagar as the Fitzgerald bridge was unable to handle the heavy traffic flow leading to jams at the MG Junction. The construction of the Rs 32-crore bridge started in 2008 and got completed in three-and-half years.