Although people are eagerly waiting for the launch of the Pune Metro rail services, the commencement of operations may not happen even by year-end, said officials of Maha-Metro on Tuesday after the commissioner of Metro Rail Safety flagged a spate of technical glitches. The launch is already delayed due to the onset of Covid-19.
During the commissioner’s visit to the city for a day earlier this month, he had inspected the priority sections, especially the seven-kilometre stretch between PCMC headquarters at Pimpri and Dapodi and the five-kilometre stretch between Vanaz and Garware College.
“The inspection carried out by the commissioner is an important stage before the services commence. The safety commissioner inspects the services only when a project is heading towards completion,” Maha-Metro general manager Hemant Sonawane told The Indian Express on Tuesday.
He added, “The commissioner has provided some technical suggestions which will be taken up by our officials on a priority basis.”
Asked if any major fault was pointed out, Sonawane said they are studying the suggestions and will take necessary steps to set thing rights and carryout additions or alternations.
Although a priority, Sonawane said a deadline to start operations cannot be set. “We cannot set any deadline for any stretch. Though we intend to first start the PCMC-Dapodi stretch but we have not set any deadline even for this section as there are speculations of a third wave hitting the country, which may further affect the progress of the work.”
On the PCMC-Dapodi stretch, while work at Sant Tukaram Nagar Station is complete, the Phugewadi station is 90% complete. Sonawane said, “It takes around five-six months to complete work at each station and at the two other stations of the stretch, around 80% work is complete.”
Maha-Metro was earlier confident of launching the PCMC-Dapodi stretch by January 2020. However, the work got delayed and it was planned to launch it by April 2020. However, due to Covid-induced restrictions, the work got stalled and was resumed with limited workers a few months later.
The first phase of Pune Metro rail services involves two corridors. The first corridor is from PCMC to Swargate and the second is from Vanaz to Ramwadi. The collective distance of both the corridors is 33.2km.