The work on the already-delayed Pune yard remodelling is expected to take less time than that proposed earlier, but the work might begin only after August because of monsoon.
“We had earlier planned to complete the work, including the extension of some platforms in the Pune station, in 288 days. We reviewed the plan again and realized that keeping the Pune station engaged for such a long period was not a good idea and hence the number of days was reduced to 150 days. We are still in planning stages and are expecting to further reduce the number of days to 120 days,” a senior official with the Pune rail division said.
Last month, Pune’s divisional railway manager Indu Rani Dubey said the work would start in April. In reply to a message sent to the official on Wednesday, 22 March 23, she said, “The dates are yet to be decided.”
The project — first planned in 2017-18 — aims to increase the length of at least three platforms (2, 3 and 6) in the Pune station so that longer rakes can be accommodated. According to the officials, it will ensure that longer trains don’t depend on the remaining platforms to stop. At present, long rakes of 24 or more coaches keep standng outside the station for a long time because of the unavailability of long platforms.
“We are hoping to start the preliminary work from the next month, but with two months more for the monsoon to set in, we don’t want to keep on working during the rain. This will result in more delays and hassles. Hence, the main work might only start post-August and be completed in one go,” the official said.
Authorities said even with the reduction of days, almost all trains operating to and from Pune will be affected in some way or other. “Change in timings, short terminations, station changes and some cancellations are expected. People will face some hassles, but the work is important. We are trying to ensure the important trains are not affected much,” said Dubey.
The last remodelling of the Pune yard was done in 2009.
Milind Deouskar, the former of Pune divisional railway managerhad announced the yard’s fresh remodelling plan in January 2018.