Chamber seeks hourly Pune-Mumbai trains

Ahead of the Railway Budget on February 24, the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA) has drawn the attention of the Railway Ministry to various ssues in the Pune division, such as better connectivity between a number of cities and regions including Mumbai, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Konkan, southern as well as northern states.

MCCIA executive-director general Anant Sardeshmukh and chairman of MCCIA's railway, road traffic management committee Chandmal Parmar highlighted various demands like improving the railway stations and providing adequate toilet and drinking water facilities at the stations.

"Introduction of hourly trains between Pune and Mumbai will benefit thousands of commuters and generate substantial revenue for the railways. Owing to the non-availability of train service during certain period of the day, commuters are forced to opt for road transport. It is therefore, requested that the railways can introduce super-fast trains starting from both ends between 10 am and 11.30 am; between 12.30 pm and 2.00 pm; and between 7 pm and 7.30 pm respectively," Parmar said.

"Presently, very few trains are available from Pune to the southern parts of India. Moreover, these trains initiate from Mumbai and hence the quota available for Pune is limited. T herefore trains to Bangalore, Hubli, Chennai and Mangalore are the need of the hour." he said adding, "

Apart from this, the volume of passenger traffic to and from Gujarat and Rajasthan is very high and is growing faster than the capacity of existing services. Therefore, introduction of superfast trains to Ahmedabad and Rajkot are necessary. "The entire Konkan region, which is a major centre of agro-horticultural products, is a major tourist attraction and needs proper connectivity with the rest of the state. Therefore, superfast trains to Ratnagiri and Madgaon (Goa) should be introduced," he said.

There is an urgent need to shift the Cement Goods Shed to the convenient places outside the Pune city areas. Shifting of the Goods Shed outside the city limits will reduce the vehicular burden on city roads caused due to the movement of trucks carrying cement. They also questioned the delay in expediting the electrification work between Pune and Daund.

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