Pune was an important center for the social and religious

Pune was an important center for the social and religious reform movements that were sweeping the country. Many prominent reformers lived here, including Mahadev Govind Ranade, Ramakrishna Gopal Bhandarkar, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Maharshi Vitthal Ramji Shinde and Jyotirao Phule. The most important political reformer of this era was Bal Gangadhar Tilak, who dominated the Indian political scene for six decades.

Pune is also associated with the struggle for Indian independence. Mohandas Gandhi was imprisoned at Yerwada jail several times, and placed under house arrest at the Aga Khan Palace in 1942-44, where both Kasturba Gandhi, his wife, and Mahadev Desai, his long-time aide and secretary, died.

[edit] After independence
After Indian Independence, Pune saw a lot of development, such as the establishment of the National Defense Academy National Defense Academy at Khadakwasla, National Chemical Laboratory at Pashan. Pune also serves as the headquarters of the Southern Command of the Indian Army.[4] Industrial developments started around 1950-60s in Hadapsar, Bhosari, Pimpri, and Parvati.[5] Telco (now Tata Motors) started operations in 1961, which gave a huge boost to the automobile sector. Pune was referred at that time as "Pensioners' Paradise" since many government officers, civil engineers, and Army personnel preferred to settle down in Pune after their retirement.

In July 1961, Panshet dam broke and its waters flooded the city, destroying most of the older sections, giving a chance for modern town planning concepts to be put into use. This unfortunate incident however led constructive developments in the city, and the economy of the city witnessed a boom in construction and manufacturing sectors. By 1966, the City had expanded in all directions.[5]

After 1970, Pune emerged as the leading engineering city of the country with Telco, Bajaj, Kinetic, Bharat Forge, Alfa Laval, Atlas Copco, Sandvik and Thermax expanding their infrastructure. By this time the city had gained the reputation of being the 'Oxford of the East' due to a large number of educational institutes. In 1989, Dehu Road-Katraj bypass (Western bypass) was completed, reducing traffic congestion in the inner city. In 1990 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 1998, work on the six-lane Mumbai-Pune expressway began; a huge accomplishment for the country, the expressway was completed in 2001.[6] 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 2 Lakh (200,000) IT professionals.In 2006, PMC started BRT (Bus Rapid Transit System) project first among all Indian cities but due to narrow roads of the city it has not worked properly. However, PMC is working on glitches in this project and planning skywalks near BRT and other changes. The year 2008 saw huge development near the Chakan and Talegaon region as Multinational Corporations (MNCs) like General Motors, Volkswagen, and Fiat have set up facilities near Pune. Additionally, in 2008 the Commonwealth Youth Games took place in Pune, which encouraged additional development in the north-west region of the city and added a few Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses on Pune's road.[7] The Pune Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (PMRDA)'s proposed initiatives will give a huge boost to the city's infrastructure and include the development of systems for a metro (rapid-transit rail) and buses, plus effective water and garbage treatment facilities.

[edit] References
^ "Timeline of Pune's History". Punecity.com. 1916-06-22. http://www.punecity.com/ourcity/information/punetimeline.html. Retrieved 2011-06-15.
^ a b "Some Important Years In The History Of Pune". http://www.punediary.com/html/historyevents.html. Retrieved 2008-04-04.
^ "Monuments in Pune". Pune district administration. Archived from the original on 2008-03-25. http://web.archive.org/web/20080325021426/http://pune.gov.in/history/monuments1.htm. Retrieved 2008-04-04.
^ "Southern Command in India". http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/india/southcom.htm. Retrieved $ january 2010.
^ a b "Historical Events in Pune". http://pune.gov.in. NIC - District-Pune. http://pune.gov.in/history/mevents3.htm. Retrieved 2009-10-29. [dead link]
^ "The Mumbai-Pune expressway". The Financial Express. http://www.financialexpress.com/old/fe/daily/20000730/fec30031.html. Retrieved 2009-10-29.
^ "Pune to get piped compressed natural gas before CYG". The Punekar. http://punekar.in/site/2008/09/17/pune-to-get-piped-compressed-natural-gas-before-cyg/. Retrieved 2009-10-29.