The Metro proposal for Pune has been mired in controversy from the very beginning. The DMRC Report is not only found wanting on many issues, but even the case for a Metro has not been made. (Parisar has sent a letter to the Urban Development Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra to this effect) This has, not surprisingly, led to various citizen groups (under the banner of Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyan, PMJA) taking up the issue and essentially saying – we need answers to questions before the Metro proposal is approved by the General Body of the PMC.
What however did come as a surprise, is the reaction to this debate by one of Pune’s leading dailies, Sakal. They essentially took the position that the debate over the Metro proposal is a waste of time and that the individuals/groups raising concerns were not qualified to do so. Sakal has traditionally supported discussion and debate and upheld the principle of people’s participation in public policy discourse, so this came as a rude shock.
Parisar has responded to the specific issues raised by Sakal, (for english click here) and also posed questions that we feel any lay person is likely to raise. We were also happy that others have responded to this attempt to stifle public discourse. Here are letters from Shri Prabhakar Karandikar (erstwhile Divisional Commissioner of Pune) and Shri Prashant Kothadiya (who worked for many years with Sakal).
But unfortunately, none of these were published by Sakal, thus furthering the impression that it was presenting a one-sided view of the debate.
We’d be happy to hear your thoughts on this issue too.