Updated: January 6, 2022 7:24:06 am
As the Maha Metro prepares to launch metro rail services on a 12-km stretch in two sections, it has sought to allay the fears of the general public about the safety of the Pune Metro project. Officials of Maha Metro said the Pune Metro project was “100 per cent safe” and all measures have been taken to ensure no untoward incident takes place during the construction phase and thereafter.
Maha Metro’s assurance comes in the wake of another mishap on Friday when a 27-year-old labourer was killed after a stack of reinforcement steel bars fell on him near Nashik Phata area. Earlier, in 2019, a worker at the Pune Metro site at Mobo’s Hotel on Bund Garden Road was killed after a steel centring plate moved by an overhead crane fell on him.
“Last week’s incident is unfortunate. During the construction phase such incidents happen. But it should not have happened. Despite all our safety measures, the incident took place. We are taking all precautions to ensure that such incidents do not take place,” said Brijesh Dixit, chairman and managing director of Maha-Metro, which is implementing the Pune Metro project.
Dixit insisted that the metro project is safe and will continue to remain safe. “The Pune Metro project is 100 per cent safe. We have adopted the latest technology to ensure the metro rail services run smoothly without any glitches or mishaps,” he said.
Speaking about the technology for safe travel, Atul Gadgil, director, (works) Maha-Metro said they have used the latest CBTC or Communication based Train Control System to avert any chances of collision of trains. “The technology helps avert any kind of collision between the trains. It helps the trains to keep safe distance. This technology was used in Delhi Metro when it started its services. Even Nagpur Metro is following the same technology.”
Gadgil said the technology helps drivers know the distance to the preceding train which helps them adjust distance. “The trains communicate their status via radio… they constantly get information regarding the distance to the preceding train,” he said.
Gadgil said because of CBTC, the trains avoid collisions even if they come closer. “The automatic brake system is activated when the trains come close. Though the safety distance is not defined, the trains come to a halt much before they come perilously close to another. It is a robust system ensuring full-proof safety of the travelling public,” he said.
Dixit said they will have 30 drivers at their disposal. “The drivers are all graduates and have been under training for the last two years. Even otherwise, they have an experience of running metro rail in other cities,” he said.
For the last two years, Maha Metro had been promising to start the service from PCMC headquarters to Phugewadi, a 7-km stretch. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, it had failed to complete the work. Dixit said they will now complete the work by January 15 and might start services on January 26.
“We have conveyed to the government about the completion of the work by January 15. After that it is the government’s call to launch the service. It could be January 26 or after,” he said.
Dixit said the Sant Tukaram Nagar station work has been completed while other station works are also almost complete.
“For a three-km stretch from PCMC, commuters will have to pay Rs 10 for the ticket,” he said, adding the metro train will be available every half an hour on this route in the initial phase till the entire work on route up to Swargate is completed. Dixit said they are keeping ticket rates low so that the maximum number of citizens can use the service. “All efforts are being made to promote metro service so that people use less personal vehicles and rely more on public transport,” he said.
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