Railways halt work on Pune-Nashik high-speed train

A day after the railways questioned the feasibility of the ‘at-grade’ high-speed railway between Pune and Nashik, to which deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said the government of State was now proposing a railroad with road to link the two towns, there was widespread shock and criticism among politicians and the public.

When Fadnavis met Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnav during his visit to Delhi on Tuesday, questions were raised about the feasibility of the “level” high-speed line between Pune and Nashik. Afterwards, Fadnavis said that since the high-speed rail project, executed by Maha Rail, might not be possible on an “at-grade” track, the state government now plans to develop rail and road tracks. for the movement of vehicles between the two. cities.

“The Minister of Railways has informed us that it will be difficult to operate high-speed trains on ‘at-grade’ tracks. Therefore, I will discuss this issue with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and a revised road-rail proposal will be submitted,” Fadnavis said after the meeting with Vaishnav. According to Fadnavis, an “at-grade” runway runs parallel to the surface without any elevation or depth, which increases the risk of humans and animals crossing it.

While Shirur MP Amol Kolhe criticized the decision to delay the Pune-Nashik Semi-Speed ​​Railway and wondered if the Union Railway Ministry was unaware of this for many years since the approval and adoption of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the high-speed train project.

“I still hope that Shinde, Fadnavis and the Minister of Railways will reconsider the project as it is. The project has received almost all approvals and only the cost needs to be approved by the Ministry of Railways If the project is reconsidered, it will be further delayed. Already it has been under discussion for two decades. Now that the project has reached the final stage and there has been a good response to the land acquisition, why Are there any doubts raised about him?” said Kolhé.

An officer from the Maharashtra Rail Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (MRIDCL) on condition of anonymity said: “The doubt about animals encountering accidents is not very valid. All over the world, there are more than 20 high-speed railways that first started “on-grade”. The second question is that nearly 200 railway workers checked the technical aspects of the semi-high-speed railway and gave it their approval. The Nashik-Pune Semi-Rapid Railway has been scrutinized at all levels, down to the financial contribution of the railways as well. So why are we wondering about the project at the final stage? »

A senior official from Indian Railways and another senior official from Maha Rail confirmed that before being approved, the project had gone through all the technical stages. “When a project reaches the final stage, all the technical aspects have already been checked. The Pune-Nashik High Speed ​​Rail is a good example of ‘Make in India’ and when completed it will save millions of rupees,” a Maha Rail officer said.

The 235 km Pune-Nashik railway line will pass through the districts of Pune, Ahmednagar and Nashik. At a speed of 200 km/h, the distance between Pune and Nashik should be covered in one hour and 45 minutes. The high-speed project, if completed, will provide seamless connectivity to industrial areas of Pune and Nashik such as Hadapsar, Wagholi, Alandi, Chakan, Khed, Manchar, Narayangaon, Sinnar and Satpur.

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