PMC officials, Sharad Pawar to meet Kamal Nath today

With the Centre in the process of preparing draft budget for 2013-14, elected representatives of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) along with NCP chief and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar will meet Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath on Thursday to push the Pune Metro rail project that is awaiting approval.

Mayor Vaishali Bankar along with various leaders of political parties in PMC will be in Delhi. They will be accompanied by municipal commissioner Mahesh Pathak and other civic officers to make their presentation to

Kamal Nath.

"We have completed the process of introducing Metro rail service for the city. The state government has also cleared it and the proposal has been sent to the Centre for final approval. We want to take it up with the Centre before it finalises its budget for the next financial year," said Bankar.

Once the Centre makes provisions in the budget, the Metro rail would get on tracks and implementation can be done, she said.

With the rising population and increase in the number of vehicles, metro rail is the need of the hour, Bankar said.

The civic body has approved the Metro rail route from Vanaz to Ramwadi and Pimpri Chinchwad to Swargate. The decision to meet the Urban Development Minister was taken after holding discussions with Sharad Pawar.

He had urged all political parties of PMC to bury their differences and come together to push the Metro rail project.

There were differences on whether it should be elevated, underground or surface as the consultant company Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had recommended elevated metro rail. Few political parties and environmentalist had opposed it saying underground was the best option, but it was ruled out citing the exorbitant cost of the project.

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