Local train commuters along the Pune-Lonavala route have a reason to cheer. The route has been awarded with the ‘suburban corridor’ status, enabling laying of two separate dedicated lines for local train services. The status was recently announced during the joint Union Budget session, held on February 1.
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Budgetary allocations have also been made for the overall improvement of safety, signalling and tracks along this route. Construction of high-level platforms and a new Foot-Over Bridge (FOB) will be initiated at three stations — Manjri Budruk, Khutbav and Kadethan — falling along Pune-Daund corridor.
A sum of Rs 7.35 crore has been sanctioned for the project.
Being one of the busiest routes, officials at the Pune Divisional Office are hopeful of fulfilling the long-pending demand of increasing the frequency of local trains between Pune and Lonavala.
“Once the construction is completed, we will have dedicated train services, like the ones in Mumbai. This will help ease the commuter traffic,” said
RN Gupta, Senior Divisional Engineer at the Pune Railway Division.
According to officials, additional funds have also been allocated to initiate laying of third and fourth lines. For this, Rs 2,126 crore each will be shared by the railways and the state government, said the officials.
“A token sum of Rs 10 lakh has already been disbursed in this regard,” said Pune Divisional Railways Manager (DRM) BK Dadabhoy.
This year’s budget also has sanctioned — Rs 10 crore each for two new routes around Pune. This includes the 105-km-long Phaltan-Pandharpur route and 8-km Hatkanangale-Ichalkaranji route. Adding to the last Rs 23 crore, sanctioned in the last year’s budget, an additional sum of Rs 5 crore has been allotted for the works of Hadapsar Satellite Terminal.
A sum of Rs 35 crore has been sanctioned for the enhancement of safety and renewal of tracks along Pune-Lonavala, Pune-Daund and Pune-Miraj sections. Apart from this, Rs 4.35 crore have been allocated for improving the track side signalling systems along the Pune-Lonavala route.
Construction of two new Railway Over Bridges (ROB) near Bhilwadi station, along Pune-Miraj route, will also start following the sanction of Rs 37 crore and Rs 35 crores, respectively. Half of the expenditure cost for the same will be borne by the Maharashtra government, said the railway officials.