Pune: The Pune Metro service could begin operating in parts of Corridor One within a year, officials from Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MAHA-Metro) said on Wednesday.
Officials cited the example of the Metro service in Nagpur, where they managed to carry out a test within 27 months of starting work on the project. “… Pune Metro will be marked in the next year, or in a little over a year,” said Brijesh Dixit, general director of MAHA-Metro.
Last week, Dixit had said that work at Pune Metro was progressing at a faster pace than work at Nagpur Metro.
Reiterating the statement, Dixit said that the elevated part of Corridor 1 – a distance of approximately 6 km from Pimpri to Dapodi- faced few obstacles such as land acquisition, so MAHA-Metro could complete the work faster.
“For the same distance in Nagpur, we could start the test in 27 months … the real operations are probably going to start soon. Since the work in Pune Metro is taking place at an accelerated pace compared to the work in Nagpur Metro, we expect start the test here in just over a year, and the actual execution soon after, “he said.
Work on Pune Metro began on December 24, 2016, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed the bhoomi bid for the project.
Welcoming the statement of Metro officials, Ghulam Ali Bhaldar of Chinchwad Pravasi Sangh said: “Why should the Pune Subway operate from Pimpri to Dapodi … why can not they operate it from Nigdi … if they do , travelers from Pradhikaran-Nigdi, Akurdi ?, Kalbhornagar, Mohannagar and Chinchwad would benefit greatly. ”
He noted that more passengers need 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 approximately 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 passengers could get to Dapodi from Pimpri in 8-10 minutes.
A PMPML bus on the same route takes up to 15 minutes or even more, depending on the traffic situation on the Phugewadi-Dapodi and Kasarwadi sections. Most buses on this route are crowded, and women who travel frequently complain that men occupy seats for them on buses.
While a PMPML bus can carry about 50 passengers, a Metro train, which will operate in a 10-minute interval, can carry more than 900 passengers. “The frequency of Metro trains would be decided based on the requirements of the passengers,” Metro officials said.
However, the Pimpri-Dapodi route faces an important barricade in Nashik Phata Square: the triple overpass that passes over the road, the railway line and the river. The overpass forced the MAHA-Metro officials to realign their plan.
“The elevated route, which starts straight from Pimpri, takes a detour at Nashik Phata … it moves to the right side to exit between two bridges, and then returns to the road at Kasarwadi … it’s a complicated task , “Said the MAHA-Metro officials, adding that they hoped to overcome the obstacle.