Pune is one of the India’s largest metropolises, the second largest in Maharashtra after Mumbai. Its position as a fast growing IT and education hub brings with it both significant rewards and complex challenges. Shri Ajit Pawar recognized the city’s potential early on, and laid the foundation for its ascent, making sure its current and future citizens would always have access to clean water, efficient transport, economic opportunities, and a sustainable infrastructure.
Shri Ajit Pawar’s impact on the city began in 1991, when he became the Chairman of the Pune District Co-operative Bank (PDCB). The bank’s deposits skyrocketed from INR 300 Crores to an astronomical INR 1,60,000 Crores, over his 16 year tenure. In 2004, he became the Guardian Minister for Pune District and held the post until 2014. It was also under his leadership that the NCP became the largest party in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) in 2007.
As Guardian Minister of Pune, Shri Ajit Pawar showed tremendous foresight and took several measures to safeguard and strengthen the city’s water supply. He spearheaded the cleaning of the Mula-Mutha Rivers under the Union Government’s National River Conservation Program in coordination with the Government of Japan. He also worked with the NCP to build a robust network of sewage treatment plants in areas like; Vadgaon Sheri, Kharadi, Lohegaon, Vitthalwadi, and Mundhwa, and felicitated two connecting pipelines; a 1,600 mm pipeline from Khadakwasla Dam to the Warje Water Treatment Plant and a 2,200 mm pipeline from Parvati Water Treatment Plant to Camp Water Station.
This well-planned infrastructure has the capacity to treat 100 percent of the city’s sewage-waste and has prevented toxic effluents from contaminating the Mula-Mutha Rivers. Treated water has also been redistributed to address water scarcity in several localities such as 'The Bhama Askhed Pipeline Project' that brings approximately 2.6 TMC of water to the Pune’s eastern suburbs.
In addition to building an efficient sewage treatment infrastructure, Shri Ajit Pawar and the PMC have also implemented an extremely successful solid waste segregation and management program that begins at the household level and drives citizen participation. They’ve managed to generate energy from segregated waste and collaborated on an E-waste management and energy conservation program with a German company. These progressive and comprehensive measures have nearly freed the city from load shedding and power-cuts, and been lauded even by their fiercest political opponents.
Shri Ajit Pawar and the PMC designed Pune’s integrated public transport system to withstand the next three decades of population growth. From constructing new flyovers, roads, skywalks, and parking facilities, to advocating for the use of CNG in all modes of public transport — their work has already had a massive impact on reducing air pollution and easing traffic congestion in the city. The fact that Pune was awarded the 'Best City: Efficient Traffic Management’ award by ABP Majha, is a testament to their success. A leader with a pulse on the future, Shri Ajit Pawar is also the man behind the Pune Metro. An efficient three-line system with an interchange station at Civil Court, the Pune Metro connects the city’s growing neighbourhoods to each other, and includes a line to its industrial outpost, Pimpri Chinchwad. Shri Ajit Pawar also introduced a Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) route between Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad, which relies on the Intelligent Transport Management System (ITMS), and further services the growing need for public transport between the two regions.
Shri Ajit Pawar is committed to designing a public health system that serves even the remotest communities. No life should be lost due to a lack of access to either preventative or emergency medical attention. He has constructed hospitals and maternity homes in various outlying areas and pushed for the modernization of medical labs to facilitate early diagnosis and improve survival rates. He also kicked off a massive campaign to build safe and hygienic toilet facilities for women. Between the years 2012 - 2015, 60 block latrines had already been constructed, with 45 more on the way. Additionally, he made transparent lifts mandatory in high-rise buildings in an effort to further improve women's’ safety.
Shri Ajit Pawar believes that technology has a powerful impact on our future prospects. It’s imperative that we re-evaluate our educational system to ensure that it gives India’s youth a competitive edge in the job market of tomorrow. From facilitating e-learning and computer literacy, to encouraging the inclusion of music, art, and sports in school curriculums — Shri Ajit Pawar and the PMC have taken several steps towards promoting the idea of holistic learning and developing a progressive model for primary education. They’ve also built several sports and cultural arenas around the city; the Kharadi Sports Complex, the Modern Sports Complex, the Pt. Bhimsen Joshi Kalamandir, and the Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru Sanskruti Bhavan to name a few.
Due in large part to Shri Ajit Pawar’s vision and policies, international consultancy, MERCER, listed Pune as one of the top eight fastest developing cities in the world, in its “Quality of Living Ranking 2014” survey. Furthermore, it has named Pune as an emerging destination for industrial & financial investment, mentioning its specific suitability for IT & automobile-related ventures. Shri Ajit Pawar and the PMC recognized that while driving economic growth was crucial, ensuring sustainable development over the long term meant creating policies that were environmentally sound. In that vein, the PMC became the first municipal corporation in the country to publish a comprehensive Carbon Emission Report of the city. According to the Carbon Emission Inventory, 19 biogas plants in the city had reduced their carbon emissions by 5.58 times. As a result, Pune’s per capita carbon emissions dropped to 1.46 tons, which falls below the national average of 1.5 tons. The PMC was also the first municipal body in the country to develop innovative eco-housing projects, and to offer a 10 percent property tax concession to residential projects that embraced environmentally friendly techniques. These measures were given special mention at the Earth Hour City Challenge 2015. Not one to rest on his laurels, Shri Ajit Pawar has continued to work towards turning Pune into a complete ‘Green City.’ He has planted over 110 public gardens, created a joint forest management program to maintain the city’s green belt, and kicked off several other notable initiatives.