Fund crunch derails Railway projects at Pune station, Hadapsar

PUNE: Two important railway projects in the city — remodelling of the Pune yard and development of the Hadapsar station into a terminal— may not come to fruition, all for the want of money.

The officials of the Pune railway division said of the Rs 20 crore needed for the Hadapsar terminal project, only Rs 40 lakh has been released. If more funds are not released soon, the project will grind to a halt. Similarly, Rs 50 crore sought for the extension of platforms at the Pune station has not been sanctioned yet, they said.

They were speaking on the sidelines of a video presentation by railway minister Piyush Goyal — ironically, to highlight the various achievements of the Railways in the four years of the present government.

“As far as the Hadapsar project is concerned, a sum of Rs 20 crore is needed. We have floated tenders for the work on the signalling system and hope the money will arrive soon. However, if the funds are not released, the project will get stalled,” said a senior official of the division.

He added that funds were also awaited for the Pune yard remodelling project, which included increasing the length of the platforms at the Pune station so that trains with more than 20 coaches can be accommodated. “The cost of the project is Rs 50 crore. The money is expected to come in two instalments of Rs 30 crore and Rs 20 crore. However, we have not received any funds yet,” he said.

Another railway official said that while they had already requested the railway board to release the funds, the delay was a cause for concern. “The Hadapsar project is very important. After the completion of the project, the pressure on the Pune station will come down and some trains will be able to start from Hadapsar. While we are still targeting the completion of phase-1 of the project by the middle of next year. but the work needs to start without any delay,” the official said.

Harsha Shah, the president of the Railway Pravasi Group, expressed displeasure at the delay and said he was not too hopeful of their completion.

“I fail to understand why the funds are not being released? The two projects are very important for Pune and its people. Railway projects always get delayed and mess things up. It seems that the Pune division is being ignored and I don’t expect much development in these two projects in the future.”

Chinchwad railway station to get FOB and escalator

The Central Railway (Pune Division) will construct a foot overbridge (FOB) and install an escalator at Chinchwad Railway Station.

The existing foot overbridge is narrow and cannot handle heavy crowd during peak hours.

Responding to a memorandum submitted by Chinchwad Pravasi Sangh seeking various amenities, the Central Railways said approval has been received for construction of a six-meter-wide foot overbridge and installation of an escalator at Chinchwad Railway Station. Also, a proposal for providing electronic display of trains and coach positions on platforms was under consideration, the Central Railways said.

“We had demanded that a foot overbridge be constructed to handle the huge rush of passengers. The train and coach position display boards must be replaced with electronic ones so that they are visible from afar. We had also demanded an escalator at the station for senior citizens, women and passengers carrying luggage,” said Gulamali Bhaldar, president, Chinchwad Pravasi Sangh.

Manoj Jhanvar, public relations officer, Pune division, said the railways have invited bids for constructing a new foot overbridge at Chinchwad Railway Station. “The construction will be completed within a year after work order is issued to a contractor,” he said.

He said the FOB will be across 8 tracks, including the proposed third and fourth railway track, on Pune-Lonavla route so there will be no need for extending it later. The total length will be 84 meters and it will be located near Mumbai end.