(G.N.S) Dt. 28
The Pune Metro service may become operational, in parts of Corridor One, within a years’ time, said officials of the Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MAHA-Metro) on Wednesday. The officials cited the example of the Metro service in Nagpur, where they managed to conduct a trial run within 27 months of starting work on the project. “… Pune Metro will be flagged off in the next one year, or in just over a year’s time,” said Brijesh Dixit, managing director of MAHA-Metro.
Last week, Dixit had said that work on Pune Metro was progressing at a faster pace than work on Nagpur Metro. Reiterating the statement, Dixit said the elevated part of Corridor 1 — a distance of about 6 km from Pimpri to Dapodi — faced few hurdles like land acquisition, so MAHA-Metro would be able to complete the work faster.
“For the same distance in Nagpur, we could start the trial run within 27 months… the actual operations will probably start soon. Since work on Pune Metro is taking place at a brisk pace compared to work on Nagpur Metro, we expect to start the trial run here in just over a years’ time, and the actual run soon after that,” he said.
Work on Pune Metro had started on December 24, 2016, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi had performed the bhoomi pujan for the project. Welcoming the statement by Metro officials, Ghulam Ali Bhaldar of Chinchwad Pravasi Sangh said, “Why should they operate Pune Metro from Pimpri to Dapodi… why can’t they operate it from Nigdi… if they do that, commuters from Pradhikaran-Nigdi, Akurdi, Kalbhornagar, Mohannagar and Chinchwad would benefit greatly.”
He pointed out that more commuters needed Metro services from the congested Nigdi area, rather than from Pimpri, as residents of Pimpri Camp and Pimprigaon can access local train services. Corridor One, from Pimpri to Swargate, will cover a distance of about 16 km. Part of it is the 6-km stretch from Pimpri to Dapodi, a straight route on the Pune-Mumbai Highway. Metro officials said commuters would be able to reach Dapodi from Pimpri within 8-10 minutes.
A PMPML bus on the same route takes up to 15 minutes or even more, depending on the traffic situation in Phugewadi-Dapodi stretch and Kasarwadi. Most of the buses on this route are jampacked, with women commuters often complaining that men occupy seats meant for them on the buses.
While a PMPML bus can carry about 50 commuters, a Metro train, which will run at an interval of 10 minutes, can carry over 900 passengers. “The frequency of Metro trains would be decided on the basis of the commuters’ requirements,” said Metro officials.
However, the Pimpri-Dapodi route faces a major roadblock at Nashik Phata square: the triple flyover which passes over the road, rail line and river. The flyover has forced MAHA-Metro officials to realign their plan.
“The elevated route, which begins in a straight line from Pimpri, takes a detour at Nashik Phata… it shifts to the right side to emerge from between two bridges, and then again returns to the highway at Kasarwadi… it is a complicated task,” said MAHA-Metro officials, adding that they were confident of overcoming the hurdle.