2022 the year that was: What Pune gained - Hindustan Times
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2022 the year that was: What Pune gained

Dec 31, 2022 04:03 PM IST

We are at the end of yet another year and this year will be remembered by Punekars for a number of reasons. While it is customary to feel joyous at new beginnings, that was not the case when 2022 began as Covid pandemic had not ended. The Metro service finally commenced, albeit, on a limited stretch, the city also saw developments at the airport and also a new medical college

Metro dream comes true

Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacts with students during a metro ride from Garware College to Anandnagar Metro station after inaugurating the metro rail in Pune on March 6, 2022. (HT PHOTO)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacts with students during a metro ride from Garware College to Anandnagar Metro station after inaugurating the metro rail in Pune on March 6, 2022. (HT PHOTO)

The city’s biggest hope for solving the traffic issue – Metro arrived in the city on March 6, 2022. Two priority stretches covering a distance of 12km – the elevated 5km Vanaz to Garware College stretch with five stations on the Ramwadi route, and the elevated 7km Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) to Phugewadi stretch also with five stations on the Pimpri-Chinchwad-Swargate route are currently operational. The inauguration was done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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City gets another medical college

In 2022, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) through Kamla Nehru Hospital finally started its first batch of MBBS students at the Bharatratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee Medical College. This is the second government-run medical college in the city limits after Sassoon General Hospital. The first batch consisted of 77 students. Besides this, the new and improved ICU in PMC-run Kamla Nehru Hospital in the city limits will be another feather in the hat of the government-run hospitals.

Multi-level parking facility at airport

On November 25, 2022 – Jyotiraditya Scindia, civil aviation minister, inaugurated the ‘aero mall’ a multilevel car parking facility at the Pune international airport. The facility is built on five lakh square feet space out of which 3.5 lakh square feet is reserved for parking and 1.5 lakh square feet for a food court and retail shops. At least 1,000 plus cars can be parked in a facility which will remain open to the public 24x7. The parking building gives direct connectivity to the airport terminal via a foot-over bridge from the second floor. All buildings consist of two basements, ground, first, second, third and fourth levels. The building also has dedicated vehicle pick-up points and a separate canteen, resting, and washroom facility for the drivers. The building is facilitated with a 1MW solar power plant enabled with an under-vehicle scanning system (UVSS) and also has an EV charging facility.

Defence land safety

For the first time, the Pune Defence Estates Office (DEO) got 15.16 crores for fencing 386 acres of defence estate land estimated to be worth over 1 lakh crore from encroachment in a prime location at Pimpri. The DEO of Pune circle has started construction of the compound wall around the land pocket recently. It is a part of a nationwide effort taken by the Directorate General of Defence Estates (DGDE) to safeguard their real estate that is situated outside the cantonment limits. The National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) is the executing authority for the project. According to the DEO office, land parcels outside the cantonment limits are being classified as highly vulnerable (Red zone), vulnerable (Blue zone) and reasonably protected (Green zone) based on various threat parameters. The project has been undertaken to protect them from future litigation and encroachment.

Truly Oxford of the East

Several prominent educational institutions in Pune got ‘university status’ from the state government. One of the major developments was of the College of Engineering Pune (COEP) which was awarded the status of “Unitary Technological Public University” by the Government of Maharashtra in June. Apart from COEP, in November, JSPM Group of Institutes got the status of a private (self-funded) university. The new university will start from the academic year 2023-24 at Wagholi in Haveli taluka in Pune district. In June, the ‘Dr PA Inamdar University’ was granted university status by the state government. This newly awarded university comes under the Maharashtra Cosmopolitan Education (MCE) Society, Pune, which is founded by PA Inamdar, a noted educationist and politician. While this month, the state government cabinet granted university status to Pimpri Chinchwad College of Engineering (PCCOE).

Child-friendly police stations

In 2022, Pune city got new child-friendly police stations. These police stations are those where children who come as victims of crimes or witnesses to crimes or as the accused themselves feel comfortable due to infrastructural changes such as colourful cartoons on the walls of the stations. However, the joint initiative is not just about painting walls; it also involves rehabilitating children who are accused of crimes. Through the initiative, police rehabilitated 270 juvenile delinquents, out of which 78 have undergone counselling sessions and 28 have been admitted to various vocational training courses and eight have got jobs.

New museum, heritage tour inside SPPU tunnel

Zapurza, a museum of art and culture, was inaugurated in May offering a unique place to celebrate India’s vibrant culture. The centre spans 7.5 acres of land and houses eight galleries, an amphitheatre, and an auditorium to celebrate the diversity of art forms. On display here are a collection of paintings, a studio of Maharashtra art school showing the impact of social and political changes like the Bhakti movement on various art forms, and creations from Mumbai, Pune, Kolhapur, Nashik and other areas. The year also saw Savitribai Phule Pune University resume the guided heritage walk at the 300-metre-long tunnel connecting Potdar Sankul to the main building. The tunnel, believed to have been built in the 1860s, was discovered during restoration efforts in 2018 and has since attracted much interest. On the southern part of the city, the first phase of Shiv Srushti – a historical theme park based on the life and times of Chhatrapati Shivaji Mahara, based in Ambegaon is ready and awaiting inauguration. Shiv Srushti was conceptualised by Padma Vibhushan Babasaheb Purandare, who passed away on November 15 last year. The first phase’s key element at Shiv Srushti - Sarkarwada – is an architectural expression, which is equipped with an administrative centre, research library, multipurpose hall, and exhibition galleries.

(Inputs by Jigar Hindocha, Namrata Devikar, Nadeem Inamdar, Dheeraj Bengrut and Shrinivas Deshpande )

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