Rising Costs Present Challenges for Pune-Lonavla Railway Project, Department Yet to be Finalized

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Pune, 30th June 2023: The Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) is currently engaged in the preparation of a revised Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the construction of the third and fourth lines between Pune and Lonavla railway stations. The revised report, considering the escalating costs, will be submitted within the next 15 days.


While the responsible department for the project remains uncertain, reliable sources from the railways indicate that the construction department of the Central Railway is likely to undertake the task. The final decision will be made by Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav.


The project encompasses 17 stations along the route, including Pune, Shivajinagar, Khadki, Dapodi, Kasarwadi, Pimpri, Chinchwad, Akurdi, Dehuroad, Begdewadi, Ghorwadi, Talegaon, Vadgaon, Kanhe, Kamshet, Malvali, and Lonavla.


The project cost has witnessed an increase since the previous report was prepared four years ago, with estimates rising from five thousand crores to seven thousand crores. Concerns have been raised regarding assigning the project to ‘Maharail,’ as their expertise lies primarily in laying routes at new locations, whereas this project involves laying two additional lines adjacent to the existing double lane. In light of this, officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, suggest that the Central Railway is better equipped to handle the Pune-Lonavla project.


The endeavor to connect the routes to the stations is expected to be technically complex, requiring yard remodeling, changing signal poles, and track work. Given the intricacies involved, it is deemed suitable for the railway organization to undertake the project rather than outsourcing to another entity.


A meeting was recently held in Mumbai, chaired by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, to discuss the third and fourth line between Pune and Lonavla Railway. The state government has agreed to contribute 50 percent of the project’s total cost, which has led to suggestions of assigning the project to the Maharashtra Railway Infrastructure Development Corporation (Maharail). However, the final decision rests with the railway ministry regarding the department responsible for executing the railway projects.


No official decision has been made regarding ‘Maharail’ undertaking the work on the Pune-Lonavla route. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde is set to meet Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav to discuss the matter further. The clarification regarding the department responsible for the project will be provided after the meeting.


Vineet Toke, Public Relations Officer of Maharail, Mumbai, expressed willingness to undertake the project if granted permission.


Sunil Udasi, Chief Public Relations Officer of MRVC, Mumbai, confirmed that the work on the revised report for the two new routes between Pune and Lonavla is currently underway. At present, the project falls under the jurisdiction of MRVC.