Amit Paranjape’s Blog

Elevated Riverside Metro in Pune?

Posted in Current Affairs, Pune by Amit Paranjape on June 10, 2012

‎”Not Elevated or Underground … but how about an Elevated Riverside Metro?”

A simple question has been in my mind regarding the proposed Pune Metro, for many months now … Along with elevated vs. underground – has anyone considered/evaluated/debated a ‘riverside’ metro route? I am curious.

Here are some random thoughts. I am not an expert and haven’t evaluated cost, environmental and other impacts. May be the simple answer could be ‘Riverside Elevated Metro Is Not Feasible’!

I am talking about an elevated route along the Mutha and Mula river side. This would not obstruct the river flow (like the current riverside road), since the column width is not that big. Think of columns near the edge of the river (beyond the current riverside road).

The rivers in Pune run through very busy areas and can provide a perfect natural pathway for the metro route. The stations can be constructed near the existing bridges – already busy traffic points and very convenient for passengers.

Environmental concerns may be there, anytime we talk about doing anything near the river bed, but I think if this route is elevated (not like the riverside road), then it will be just like any other bridge…and will have minimal impact on the river bed, flow, etc. Do note – we already have over 20 bridges in Pune.

The Mutha river can support a great route from Kothrud to Kalyaninagar via Pune Station.

The Mula river can support an even better route via busy PCMC areas and eventually to Aundh, Baner and Hinjewadi.

The area round the new bridge behind COEP (near the Sangam) could be potentially used for a terminus where both lines come together.

More importantly, the cost will be lower than underground and yet we will not have to deal with the construction and logistics nightmare (for years) on our busy and narrow roads, as well as more longer term impacts associated with an elevated metro.



18 Responses

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  1. Mehul Choube said, on June 10, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    plus the construction wont hamper the routine traffic. i think this idea should be considered…

  2. Raj said, on June 10, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Good idea. In Chennai, a 20-km elevated line was built a few years back all along the narrow Buckingham Canal. This project was delayed but did not cause much hardship to public or traffic, except where it crossed road junctions. That canal however was man-made ( built by the British to transport grain) and is now stagnant and dysfunctional. A flowing river in Pune can invite more scrutiny from an environmental angle and new construction will face opposition.

  3. Shailesh Joshi said, on June 10, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    Amit – this is a great idea. The citizens traveling by the metro who are passing by the river banks will also hopefully discourage further dumping of debris, garbage and sewage into the rivers, and ultimately create pressure on the PMC to beautify and rejuvenate it. What should we do – start a signature / online petition to garner support for this idea?

  4. suranga date (@ugich) said, on June 11, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Call me cynical in my old age, but logic is often enough when planning such things. Name the entire project/metro system after some of the usual suspects, and see the approvals pouring in from all the necessary agencies.

    Having said that, I think this is a brilliant idea, and I hope that it happens in my lifetime. Cant wait to go from Parvati to Pune Station by the XXXX-XXXX-Metro.

  5. Sunil Kulkarni said, on June 11, 2012 at 11:38 am

    I think it is a very logical and simple idea. The problem is that our leader and administrators are not interested in what people think. They have their own agenda and angle to all these projects. What complicates the matter further is that people dont participate in the debates initiated by PMC. I had collected some 50 forms with opinions of citizens and submitted by people submitted it to this forum. But overall only 60000 punites took the effort. This helps these politicians to take random vision-less decisions on their own..

  6. Amit Paranjape said, on June 11, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Comment from Aashish Chandorkar via email:

    Good thought.. I don’t think Pune can get a metro otherwise. Too much of construction chaos will ensue. We have the worst road infra among all big cities. I have seen the chaos first hand in Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and to some extent in Mumbai. Pune cannot bear the brunt of elevated or underground metro construction. May be u/g if they find a “horizontal drilling” equivalent. But otherwise metro for Pune will remain on paper.


  7. Amit Paranjape said, on June 11, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Shailesh, Mehul: Thanks for your comments.

  8. Amit Paranjape said, on June 11, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Raj – Thanks for your comments. Yes, the environmental angle needs to be studied further.

  9. Pournima said, on June 12, 2012 at 10:14 am

    hello Amit,

    This is a good idea definitely! The environmental hazards due to construction of an underground metro will be definitely immense. However we need to consider the environmental factors for an elevated metro. I think this suggestion should be put forth, since now the government is planning to go ahead for Pune metro.

  10. Bhooshan said, on June 12, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    THis idea has been around for a while, but got entangled in court as all construction in river bed is open to environmentalists’ objections.
    It is a great way to make metro happen but will the green brigade allow it?

  11. Shrinipedia said, on June 26, 2012 at 12:44 am

    I have made a map for this –
    The only place that needs land is owned by the government – From COEP to Wakdewadi to Agricultural college to rangehill to pune university – back to Mula river

    An alternalte PCMC rivermetro can be added on the Pavana banks

    A very effective plan would be to connect the ends of metro via dedicated BRT to city centers not connected via metro like Swargate, Marketyard, Camp, central old city peths.

    An even ambitious plan would be to link the southern part of the city to riverside metro endpoints via the much hated overhead overland metro

  12. Arundhati said, on July 2, 2012 at 2:26 pm


    Any construction in the riverbed requires MoEF clearance. Riverbed is a very eco-sensitive area (whether the river carries water or not) where development is concerned.

  13. Amit Paranjape said, on July 2, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Arundhati – Thanks for your comments. Wonder what the permission status is for the riverside road?

  14. maald said, on July 5, 2012 at 3:31 am

    My previous two comments did not make it through your moderation last time. Here is one more attempt:

    What we need is an interconnected network of pedestrian bridges spanning the whole of Pune. Common sense suggests that we keep heavier vehicles on the ground while elevating lighter traffic of pedestrians and cyclists. This would result in having to cut down fewer trees, will cost less and will be easier to maintain.

    Princeton Univ Prof Ted Zoli has shown the way building great pedestrian bridges. Here is a video highlighting his work.

    It is time we invest for the pedestrian — the most neglected part of our planning process.

  15. Ashwin Panemangalore said, on July 26, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    While the concept is interesting and sounds convenient its unlikely to pass scrutiny The large amount of area occupied by the structures and the stations along the route,the human influx accompanied by related businesses, encroachments and resultant pollution will surely kill the rived bed We need to enhance and green the river bed,remove the existing encroachments and bring back the pristine glory of the Mula and Mutha of the years gone by rather than load it with the ills of modernity I am an engineer and not an environmentalist I think we need to go by what the DMRC says They have the experience and they have transformed Delhi to better metropolis than it was 20 years back

  16. Alaka said, on January 25, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Amit, this is a good idea indeed. Much better than pulling down the already built shops and residences and narrowing the carriage width of existing roads with a metro.

    @Arundhati, While environmental concerns are true, if a road can be built next to the river why not an elevated metro? The metro would not run directly over the river, but along the banks, same as the road does currently. There would/ should be less built land to be acquired.

  17. Ashwin Panemangalore said, on January 30, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Alaka and Arundhati Your concepts in thought will not translate into the same way in reality The size and ugliness of the supporting structures, the ruin caused during construction activity in the areas around the river bed will be another bunch of nails in the coffin of the already battered rivers Add to that the stations which will be built alongside with their attendant pollution ( take any existing railway station area as an example) will be an added threat As for the riverside road recently approved I can suggest take a picture now and say ten or fifteen years later of the same locale and show those to your kids Finally I am sorry to see that my July comments are still awaiting moderation by the administrator Is my writing that unpleasant ?

  18. Amit Paranjape said, on January 30, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Ashwin – Thanks for your comments. For some reason, I had missed your earlier comment. Have posted that one as well.

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