With the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) completing the first inspection recently, hope has arisen that the Pune Metro project would be able to operationalise its first two stretches before the end of this year.
This is significant as the project has lost nearly eight months of activity since the onset of the pandemic last year, with Pune reporting a high number of Covid-19 cases and witnessing the migration of labour on account of lockdowns.
Says Hemant Sonawane, GM, MahaMetro Rail Corporation, the nodal agency for the project, “The inspection by CMRS is an important milestone, as it is the CMRS that authorises the opening of a Metro corridor, though there will be multiple inspections before final certification is granted.”
There was only 40-50% of labour on the sites for three-four months because of the surge in Covid-19 cases and this affected the pace of work, he adds. The end of the second Covid wave has allowed 70-80% of labour to return to the sites, ensuring a pick-up in work on the project.
The first phase of the Pune Metro project entails construction of two corridors – Corridor-1 from Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) to Swargate (17.4 km) and Corridor-2 from Vanaz to Ramvadi (15.7 km) – with a total length of 33.2 km.