PUNE: The inclusion of the city in the central government's ambitious smart cities scheme is certain, said Pune's member of Parliament Anil Shirole on Friday.
"We had consulted various experts and had prepared a report for the city's inclusion in the scheme. The report was submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We are planning to make changes as per the central government's concept note for the scheme. Pune's inclusion in the scheme is certain. We are awaiting the government's decision," Shirole said.
The government is planning to use most of the money allocated in the budget this year for the smart cities scheme and a new mission for renewal of urban infrastructure in place of the JNNURM. According to the central government, about Rs 800 crore from the total budgetary allocation has been utilized under the urban transport head so far and another Rs 200 crore could be used by March.
"I have also submitted a proposal to the government to establish agro-biotech cluster on the 100-acre land available with the Hindustan Antibiotics Limited. I have suggested that the headquarters of the proposed Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Coordination Committee be set up on the HAL premises," he said.
Shirole added that the defence ministry has given its nod to the Airport Authority of India's demand to provide land to park aircraft and for additional airstrips. "I met the defence minister and other officials recently and they have agreed to provide land on a 30-year lease. Efforts to develop the city's airport as an international one are also on," he said.
He said the state government will decide on the Pune Metro project within a month following which the groundwork would gain momentum.
"The chief minister has called for a meeting of elected representatives and experts to decide on the project. We have asked the CM to ensure that they also address the technical drawbacks mentioned in the detailed project report (DPR) prepared by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC)," said Shirole. He added that the stakeholders must be involved in the project and objections raised by experts must be cleared.
"The metro project should not be like the BRTS project, which was planned and implemented haphazardly," he said.
On whether he still believes that the city should have an underground metro, Shirole said, "There is no confusion or conflict among BJP leaders." Recently, state minister Girish Bapat had said that Pune should get a metro as per the DMRC report and no time should be wasted on preparing the new DPR.