Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a plaque to inaugurate the Pune Metro rail at the Garware College station, used a mobile phone to secure a ticket, waved a green flag to the rake and stepped into a coach to become the Metro’s first passenger for a 5km ride till the Anandnagar (Paud Road) station. He also virtually inaugurated another Metro rail run, from PCMC to Phugewadi, slated for the day.
Speaking at a function later, Modi said that as many as 60 crore people will reside in cities by 2030 and mass transport was the only way forward for urban India as there are limitations to constructing new roads and flyovers.
The metro rakes on their inaugural run were decked with flowers and a festive atmosphere prevailed at the newly-built stations. Modi was conducted around the Garware station by a senior MahaMetro official for a review of the entire project. He was accompanied, among others, by Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, former CM Devendra Fadnavis, deputy CM Ajit Pawar and UDD minister Eknath Shinde. Incidentally, Modi had laid the foundation stone for the Pune metro rail project on December 26, 2016.
On the train, Modi joined a group of students, including differently-abled children, from the Vimalabai Garware secondary and higher secondary school and the Kamayani school. He interacted with them throughout the 10-minute ride while making a mention about his journey experience in a guest book.