18 July 2018

Cover Story

Changing the tone of PUNE


Emerging as a major industrial and manufacturing hub, Pune is gaining importance as a major investment destination. The Pune Smart City Development Corporation Ltd (PSCDCL) has come up with projects such as smart street lighting, smart elements,  E- buses, cycle sharing projects and much more for the smart city plans. The projects for Area based development and Pan City development are picking up. Known as the cultural capital of India, Pune is turning out to be the hot bed of development in the country. Rohan Ambike writes about the growth of the city in all directions and the upcoming areas of developing Pune.


Indian cities have been for long facing issues such as congestion of traffic, waste management, economic inequality that have been bogging them. The ‘Smart Cities Mission’ (SCM) launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in 2015 aimed at tackling urban issues. The concept was to make cities smart – to do more with less, to use existing resources efficiently and to build on them. As per the SCM, cities should provide citizens essential infrastructure, decent quality of life, sustainable environment, and also apply smart solutions.


The Ministry of Housing and Urban affairs has been able to achieve substantial milestones in both physical and financial terms in so far as mission objectives/targets are concerned. According to Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, during the year 2017-18, while the total cumulative grants released was `46,663 crores, Utilization Certificates were due only for the grants released upto March 2016, i.e. for approximately `10,365 crores.


Smart City Mission has lots of convergence with other missions like AMRUT etc. and some of the projects are implemented under Public Private Partnerships. 1,333 projects worth `50,626 crores have been completed or under implementation / tendering. Overall projects worth `2,03,979 crores have been identified for all 99 smart cities across the country.


Pune, the cultural capital of Maharashtra is up for a makeover. With the city once being a second home for those who retire, Pune is now a hotbed IT city. Today, Pune is not just the second largest city after Mumbai, it is by far the hub for the engineering industry for over five decades. For a long time, Pune has built up its industrial might with some of the top Indian automobile big names of the likes of Tata Motors and Bajaj Auto. That also includes the names of some of the Indian global engineering giant such as Kalyani Group. As the times have progressed, there have been European giants, especially the Swedish and German making the most of the companies in the manufacturing sector. Hence, the city has seen a colossal change from being the pleasant weekend getaway for the fast people of Mumbai to the 8th top metro of 2018.


With the growing industrial might of Pune, education was another, and still is one of the greatest salient feature of the city. Known to be a city of academicians, Pune is the destination for a numerous educational institutes and also some of the premier ones of the likes of Fergusson College, College of Engineering, National Chemical Libraries, the National Defence Academy and a lot more.



The IT wave


After the 1991 economic liberalization, Pune began to attract foreign capital, particularly in the information technology and engineering industries; new businesses like floriculture and food processing begin to take root in and around the city. In the three years before 2000 Pune saw huge development in the Information Technology sector, and IT Parks formed in Aundh, Hinjewadi and Nagar road. By 2005 Pune overtook both Mumbai and Chennai to have more than 200,000 IT professionals.


Since the city and the district has a huge number of educational establishments, services such as lodging and boarding for the large student population has become a significant component of the local economy. Enter the 21st century, the city went under a massive makeover as in the decade that went by, Pune went on to discover new pastures and make its mark on the globe. A long list of industrial institutions came up and flexed their muscles in the city. It is a well know fact that the city has a certain importance when it comes to IT companies. Probably that is the reason almost all major multinational and Indian companies have their presence in Pune. At present with the current range of IT companies in Pune, the city gives a range of good opportunities for numerous IT professionals as there are good career prospects in terms of a wide range of IT services and lucrative pay packages.


According to reports, the Hinjewadi IT Park officially known as Rajeev Gandhi IT Park is one of the largest SEZ created by the government in Pune with an estimate budget of 9.2 billion dollars. Currently the IT sector in Pune has employed more than 70,000 professionals.


Over the last 10 years, Pune’s industrial scenario has seen the emergence of small, but potentially disruptive players in the form of start-ups. Individuals or small group of people have successfully used technology to come up with game-changing ideas for established business. Pune, as per reports generated by NASSCOM, had attracted around $80-90 million in the form of funding for software.


“Of the 99 smart cities announced so far, as many as 91 have incorporated special purpose vehicles and 948 projects are under implementation. The total investment proposed in these projects is `2.03 lakh crore and around 994 lakh crore urban population will be impacted in the Smart Cities Mission. Under the Smart Cities Mission, integrated command and control centres in nine cities are operational. These cities are: Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Pune, Nagpur, Rajkot, Visakhapatnam, Bhopal and Kakinada. The Centre will control and monitor online water and power supply, sanitation, traffic movement, integrated building management, city connectivity and internet infrastructure (data centre) under one roof. To truly build smart cities, we need to strengthen the city transport that can support the mass traffic. Further, urban local bodies need to be empowered, and we need a dedicated and trained municipal cadre for the same." Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs (Independent Charge), Goverment of India



Salient features of Pune


Along with the geographical advantages Pune has, one feature that cannot be understated is its nearness to Mumbai, which thus helps in easy accessibility to ports for the entry and exit of raw materials and finished goods. Another point is that Pune is considered to be much cheaper to set up a business than in any of the metros. With the government having come up with new well planned industrial estates by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation in the last few years has helped manufacturers find land for setting up of units. This has also played a major role in the development of Pune as an industrial hub. MIDC’ss industrial estates at Ranjangoan, Hinjewadi, Hadapsar and in the Talegaon-Chakan belt, are relatively recent feathers in Pune’s cap.


Also, the adequate availability of unskilled, skilled and managerial workforce and opportunities for recreation for its employees, are an integral part of the eco-system needed for the proliferation of industry here. The large number of institutions of higher learning, are supported by the presence of several Industrial Training Institutes that churn out an industrially trained labour force. To boot, the city has seen no significant labour troubles for over 25 years.




The smart city initiative


The Government of India selected top 20 from among the 98 nominated cities on 28 January 2016. Bhubaneswar topped the list of the top 20, followed by Pune and Jaipur. Under the ‘Smart City Samvad’ Forum, a dialogue between the Administration and Pune citizens involving ideas and suggestion on making Pune Smart, the administration has tried its best to get things into motion. This generated suggestions ranging from Security and Surveillance, to leveraging appropriate technology for all Smart projects.


In the first phase of its implementation, the expected investment in Pune Smart City is `3,000 crore. The plan focuses on improvement in transportation and water supply and the area based development of selected 900 acres in the Aundh-Baner-Balewadi belt. Addressing Pune’s mobility challenge is critical since it came as most critical issue in both citizen engagement and desk profile. Increase in public transportation usage from 15 per cent to 30 per cent by adding options of public transport (like metro, BRT) and enhancing current options (e.g. 3000 buses). Increase in trip share of Non Motorized Transport (NMT) to at least 30 per cent with bicycles and walking as preferred mode of transport. Both public transportation and NMT usage will help Punekars in improving mobility by increasing average speed from 18 kmph to 30 kmph.


As many as 14 projects were launched under the Smart Cities Mission on June 25, 2016. The PMC has laid emphasis on transport, water, road and solar systems. Projects include slum rehabilitation and steps to improve public transport. The Pune Smart City Development Council Ltd (PSCDCL) has launched phase of Public Bicycle Sharing service of Pune. According to media reports, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited (PSCDCL) have won three national level awards for three different projects at the Smart Cities India Awards 2018. The three awards include Smart LED street lighting systems integrated with the SCADA system under energy award category, PSCDCL under the category of Smart SPV/Municipal Corporation Award and Pune’s water supply project under the water project category.


Currently, the Smart City Proposal (SCP) for Pune includes transformation of around 950 acres of part of Aundh-Baner-Balewadi area and there are plans to extend it by 150 per cent. An investment of `2,196 crore is earmarked for transformation of the area through 34 local area development projects. In a proposal tabled in the board of directors, the PSDCL said there was need to increase the area selected for development under smart city mission to improve desired impact of key projects of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, bicycle lanes, solid waste management, street redesign, as they have not been achieved due to space and terrain limitations.


The expansion of the area would help to create continuity in transport network across entire administrative boundaries of Aundh-Baner-Balewadi and improve new transport assets utilisation, it said. It would also help in activating additional social infrastructure projects such as schools, hospitals, sports complex, play grounds, cultural centre and additional place making locations required to meet area development objective of Aundh-Baner-Balewadi. It is learnt that the PSCDCL agreed about the need for an integrated development effort across entire electoral boundaries of Aundh-Baner-Balewadi to realise maximum benefits of traffic management, road network, sewage and water works, utilities and solid waste management.


After the consent of the board of directors, the PSCDCL would undertake detailed analysis of the geographical area under consideration in area-based development, detail structuring of projects vis-à-vis original plan, citizens engagement on their requirements and feedback on proposed projects along with financial analysis of new plan. The company has also proposed four new projects of smart pole, smart schools, environment, heritage and tourism for the local area development under the Smart City Mission.



“Pune aspires to become India’s most livable city by using its strengths—rich heritage, strong human capital and vibrant business environment. It aims to solve core infrastructure issues in a “future-proof” way and make its neighborhoods beautiful, clean, green and livable. This vision was developed based on the largest citizen engagement initiative in an Indian city and detailed city profiling. Pune has taken a multi-pronged approach to mitigate its urban mobility challenge – the most chronic problem as per its citizens. Initiatives across three pillars of Infrastructure, Technology and Policies are aimed to address multiple mobility challenges. There are policy initiatives are proposed to support Pune’s commitment to resolve congestion challenge - Comprehensive mobility plan, Urban street design guidelines, Parking policy, Pedestrian policy, Bicycle plan, Transit oriented development and Integrated multimodal transport management plan. Rajendra Jagtap, CEO, Pune Smart City Development Corporation Ltd




The World Bank grant


The city is making the most of a `100-crore grant from the World Bank on the basis of designing performance-based programmes for smart city. The central government has set criteria to disburse money, which include the proportion of smart city projects, their progress and execution. The 14 smart city projects that have kicked off are livelihood through The Lighthouses of Pune; slum rehabilitation of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar vasahat Aundh; street and pedestrian walkway; central command and control centre for public transport; vehicle health monitoring; passenger information through mobile app and website; city common mobility card; traffic demand modelling project; Pune maximum solar city; plastic bottle recycling project; smart lighting; 100 per cent grievance redressal system for water with the help of PMC care; quantified cities movement; and the garbage vehicle monitoring management system. Out of that, The Lighthouses of Pune, PMC care, plastic bottles recycling project, mobile application project and the central command and control centre for public transport project have been completed. However, the others are still under way after starting more than a year ago.




Pune Metro


One cannot leave out the development in the Pune Metro since the start of the work a few months back. The civic administration is waiting to pace up the work on the underground section which has already begun. The underground section is 5km long and comes under the Pimpri-Swargate Metro corridor. At `500 crore per kilometre, the underground work is expected to cost `2,500. The total length of the Pimpri-Swargate corridor is 16.5km, of which the last 5km will be underground. On this stretch, nine of the 15 stations will be elevated and the rest underground.


According to Maha Metro’s plan, most of the area where the underground work is to be carried out is either built-up or passes under arterial roads. So vertical shafts will be inserted at agriculture college and Swargate, and the tunnel boring machines (TBM) will be lowered through the shafts to excavate a major part of the route.


Additionally, in its attempts to make Metro Rail greener, Maha-Metro has decided to develop vertical gardens on the pillars of the Metro in the city from the Pimpri-Chinchwad to Swargate corridor and from the Vanaz to Ramwadi corridor. The decision was taken to expand the green cover in the city and to fight air pollution. The work on the gardens are expected to begin soon. It has been reported that according to Maha-Metro officials, the metro pillars in city will be covered by a mesh like frame, on which small pots with plants will be mounted. The rows of potted plants will give the pillars the appearance of a vertical garden.


The first phase of the project will cover a distance of 31.254 km, which includes the Pimpri-Chinchwad to Swargate corridor covering (16.6-km) and the Vanaz to Ramwadi corridor (14.7 km).The total cost will be `11,420 crore. The World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank have approved a loan of `6,325 crore for the project. The civic body, in its budget for 2016-17, also made a provision of `67 crore for the Metro project.




Changing Times


The growth momentum must certainly make the city, and its makers, immensely proud. The outlook for Pune’s future is indeed very bright. The city though has still a lot of distance to travel. The stage is set for the ‘Smart City Mass Movement’. Pune with its rich cultural and natural heritage, strong citizenry, and active business environment seems well positioned to lead the drive.










  • Investment of about `700 crore expected in Pune city in next five years
  • The mission will focus on fixing two of the biggest citizens' concern - mobility and water
  • Improve public transport through better availability and reliability
  • Smart Pune public transport system on the anvil
  • Efforts to achieve the benchmark of 50 per cent public transport use, which is just 18 per cent today
  • Reduce congestion through 'Intelligent Pune Traffic System'
  • Ensure equitable distribution of water (150 litres per capita per day)
  • 24x7 water supply
  • Best in class customer experience




  • The PMC has selected Aundh-Baner-Balewadi (ABB) for areas based development
  • This area will get investment of about `2,200 crore in five years
  • The aim is to transform livability across all dimensions to match global standards






  • 100 e-buses
  • 8 km BRTS
  • Overhaul of 54 bus stops
  • 100 e-rickshaws
  • 42 km bicycle track
  • 60 km footpath redesign
  • Increase in average speed by 5 kmph
  • Public transport use up from18 per cent to 40 per cent



  • Reduction of water deficient areas from 65 per cent to zero
  • Building seven reservoirs
  • 50 km pipeline
  • 100 per cent water metering
  • 10 per cent recycling



  • 4-10 per cent increase through 13 parks
  • Development of 3.4 km riverfront area



  • Increase in jobs from 10,000 to 45,000 through start up hub
  • More commercial offices
  • Promoting walk-to-work



  • E-governance
  • ABB Punetel card
  • Single window desk

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