PUNE: Since years, transport experts and rail travelers have urged the need for faster and frequent local trains on the Lonavla-Pune-Daund route. But this demand is always been ignored. Pune, growing rapidly as one of the major metropolitan city, fast and better quality of suburban rail connectivity would solve the transport related problems in a broader sense, opine experts.
The passenger traffic is increasing daily almost on the Pune-Lonavla route, which covers Pimpri-Chinchwad, Dehu Road, Talegaon and Wadgaon Maval areas. For this route, there has been a constant demand for increasing the frequency of local trains. Currently, there are four trains that make 34 to and fro trips between Pune and Lonavla, and six trips between Pune and Talegaon. The gap between two trains is too much.
The low frequency of trains is leading to overcrowding. The worst hit crowd includes workers, office-goers and students. The railway-road traffic management committee of the MCCIA (Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture) has demanded that a separate suburban railway users’ committee should be created to tackle the problems of rail commuters.
The committee has observed that there has been a significant growth in the figure of rail commuters on the Pune-Lonavla and Pune-Daund routes. The MCCIA has already demanded that there should be local trains at a frequency of every 30 minutes.
Founder President, Chinchwad Pravasi Sangh Gulamali Bhaldar said, “I have given several memorandums to railways authorities for increasing the frequency of local trains”.
He further added, “Simply increasing the number of bogies from 9 to 12 is not a solution. People face severe trouble; hence, they are forced to use personal vehicles even for long distance. The road traffic will be reduced automatically if the frequency of local trains is increased”.
Manjulata Mehta, member of Sadadi Mahila Trust said, “The railway authorities should think of constructing a separate terminus for suburban railway users from Pune-Lonavla and Pune-Daund”. “The Railways should modify and strengthen the rail traffic system”, she added.
In the mean time, train travelers have also demanded that the railway officials should also take up the work of building a new line between Pune-Nasik and Chinchwad-Roha (Konkan). There have been surveys taken for this purpose, initiated by Railways, few years back. The rail commuters have also recommended to Railways to take up the work of quadrupling the Pune-Lonavla route bearing in mind the future needs of Pune Metropolitan County.
- Anuja Bagaitkar