PUNE: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has made it clear that declaring 4 floor space index (FSI) in metro corridors is the only way if Pune metro has to become a reality.
The civic body also warned civic organizations and politicians against opposing the move as it would make the project financially unviable. Earlier, activists and a section of state officials and the political class had openly expressed their reservations on the 4 FSI plan. They questioned the purpose and feasibility of the proposal on the grounds that it would add to the infrastructure burden of the city.
"Four FSI is must for densification and financial viability of the metro project. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has made the recommendation considering all factors. If the proposal is opposed, the PMC has no financial resources to complete this massive project. One has to understand the ground reality," said city engineer Prashant Waghmare on Tuesday.
The cost of the project has started multiplying and further delay could add to further burden, he added.
The state cabinet had in October, 2013, approved metro for Pune while pushing the completion deadline of phase one to 2021. The DMRC report expected the project will be completed by May 30, 2014.
In June 2012, the state cabinet approved the 14.925-km elevated route from Vanaz to Ramwadi while deciding that the phase-I of the project would be completed in five years i.e. by 2017.
The revised estimated cost of the project is now pegged at Rs 10,183 crore. Now, the Chinchwad-Swargate corridor will cost Rs 6,960 crore and the Vanaz-Ramwadi route will cost Rs 3,223 crore. The total cost (for both corridors) has increased by nearly Rs 2,199 crore, as compared to the estimated cost in 2009. State officials fear that even the revised cost estimates will have to be worked out considering the new completion deadline.
"How will the PMC raise money to build the metro?" asked Waghmare, adding that metro projects the world over could be completed by providing high FSI along the corridors. The DMRC has repeatedly said that metros are capital-intensive and building even a small stretch costs hundreds of crores of rupees, said Waghmare.
State finance officials have already questioned the metro financial model suggesting that the municipal corporation's share in the project be hiked to 20% from the existing 10%, while the state and the Centre should put in 20% each. The remaining amount should be raised by the Special Purpose Vehicle.
The DMRC has proposed 4 FSI on either side of the metro corridor to achieve greater population densification through vertical development of residential and commercial properties. The mass transport project would become economically viable through the funds generated, the DMRC report says.
The general body has okayed the plan while restricting developments within 10 metres of the corridor. The elected members have also approved the administration's proposal to seek suggestions and objections for modification of development control (DC) rules to this effect.