Commuters want funds for Pune-Daund line electrification

The Pune-Daund railway line electrification project that started in December last year is going on in full swing. The project was pending for six years. Commuters are hoping that enough allocation is made for the project in the Rail Budget so that the work is finished quickly.

Once completed, the project will result in quicker services between the two station and Pune-Lonavala services can be extended till Daund. "At present, work of laying pillars along the railway line is going on. Work has started from Loni to Pune line and Loni to Daund. All safety precautions will be taken care during the laying of high security lines," said Y K Singh, spokesperson, Pune Division, Central Railway.

"Once the electrification process is complete, we will also extend the Pune-Lonavala locals till Daund. This will not only help people staying in Daund who come to Pimpri-Chinchwad for work but will also help villagers in nearby areas," Singh said adding electric trains will be given preference over diesel trains as they are cheaper and environment-friendly. "More than 5 lakh people from Daund as well as near by areas like Indapur will use the line. Once constructed, the railways will be forced to take out local trains at an interval of every 15 minutes to manage the traffic," said Harsha Shah, president, Railway Pravasi Group. "We have been appealing for electrification of Pune-Daund line since 1984 when Madhavrao Scindia was the railway minister. Even after approval from the central budget, the project was stalled for 6 years before staring on December last year," Shah said.

The Pune-Daund-Bhigvan route is part of the Pune-Solapur rail link. The project includes electrification on a section of 104 km of the total route. While the Pune-Daund section is 76 km long, Daund-Bhigvan section is 28 km long. The total cost of the project is estimated at Rs 161.90 crore and is being funded by the Asian Development Bank. The electric trains that will run once the electrification process is completed in this route, will be a relief to lakhs of commuters who otherwise have to use long distance or passenger trains to commute.

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