With overhead electrification works in the last portion of the mainline section from Mayiladuthurai to Thanjavur junction fully completed, officials of the Rail Vikas Nigam Limited and Tiruchi division conducted a trial run of an electric locomotive on the 68-km energised stretch on Friday. The trial run was done successfully from Mayiladuthurai to Thanjavur in the evening after obtaining approval from the Electrical Inspector to the Government of India for charging the section, a senior official of the RVNL told The Hindu on Friday. The RVNL, a Government of India enterprise,... more...
was entrusted with the task of electrifying the 228-km mainline section from Villupuram to Thanjavur via Cuddalore, Chidambaram, Mayiladuthurai and Kumbakonam and the project was completed in phases - Villupuram to Cuddalore, Cuddalore to Mayiladuthurai via Chidambaram, and Mayiladuthurai to Thanjavur. Although the last phase suffered a setback when the lockdown was clamped in late March due to COVID-19 pandemic, the works have resumed and have gained momentum since July, because of relaxations announced by the State government with the RVNL overcoming labour shortage for execution of the remaining works. With the final phase having been completed and trial run conducted successfully from Mayiladuthurai to Thanjavur, the stage is now set for mandatory inspection of the energised stretch by the Commissioner of Railway Safety, Southern Circle, Bengaluru. The entire mainline section, one of the major stretches under the vast jurisdiction of Tiruchi railway division, has become fully energised now. After obtaining statutory clearance from the Commissioner of Railway Safety after the mandatory inspection, electric loco hauled passenger trains will be operated on the Thanjavur-Mayiladuthurai stretch. Statutory clearances have already been obtained for Villupuram-Mayiladuthurai stretch for operation of electric locomotive-hauled passenger and freight trains. As part of the project, the RVNL has constructed two traction substations: one at Cuddalore and the other at Thanjavur. Both traction substations have been commissioned. A new traction substation will also be commissioned at Mayiladuthurai. The entire overhead electrification project has been executed at an estimated cost of ₹300 crore.
MUMBAI: Citizens can now board trains to travel in the state as the restrictions on inter-district movement have been lifted.
A CR official said, “The unlock guidelines issued by the state government have permitted inter-district travel. Hence, we have allowed train travel and booking of tickets for destinations within Maharashtra from September 2.”
trains were allowed halts at en route stations in Maharashtra but passengers could only board for onward journey outside the state; alighting was not allowed in the state.
A total of 23 trains operate from various stations in Mumbai, some of which are daily and many bi-weekly or weekly.
People may still be wary of train travel
The CR official said, “We will come to know how many passengers took the train for inter-district travel in Maharashtra only tomorrow.”
A senior CR official said, ‘The railway had disabled the booking option for those attempting to book tickets for journey within the state. For example, a train to Hyderabad from Mumbai has a halt in Pune. But passengers were not allowed to alight here. Only those who wanted to board the train with confirmed tickets for onward journey outside the state could board the train in Pune.”
Another official said, “There may not be much demand as people are wary of travel.”
He cited the example of Ganeshotsav, during which time trains were run for Konkan but the demand was poor as people were wary of travelling in railway coaches.
The 23 trains that originate in Mumbai include Kushinagar Express, Kamayani Express, Mahanagari Express, BDTSGazhipur Express, Gorakhpur-LTT Express, BDTS-Gorakhpur Awadh Express and Pushpak Express for Uttar Pradesh. Trains for Bihar include Darbhanga Express, LTT-Patna Express, BDTS-Muzzafarpur Awadh Express and LTT-Patliputra Express, and for Punjab, Paschim Express and Golden Temple.
CSMT-Gadag Express, Udyan Express, Hussain Sagar Express and Nethravati Express head to the south. Karnavati Express, Jaipur Express, Suryanagari Express are for Gujarat and Rajasthan. Konark Express, Howrah Mumbai Mail and LTTGuwahati Express run to and from eastern India.
Aug 24, Pune metro which is working in two phases is set to start commercial operations between Pimpri and Range Hills from December 2020, while passenger may be able to board Metro rail between Vanaz to Civil Court by March 2021, according to the schedule designed by Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (Maha-Metro).
Atul Gadgil, director, Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Ltd ( Maha-Metro), said, “Due to Covid-19 pandemic, metro work has been affected, but we have set new deadlines for starting operations.” ... more...
“As per new schedule, the commercial operations on Reach-one stretch between Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) Bhavan to Range Hills on Nigdi-Swargate route will start by December this year. Reach-two on Vanaz-Ramwadi route is expected to start by March 2021,” he said.
Earlier last week, Ajit Pawar, deputy chief minister and Pune district guardian minister, held a review meeting with the top officials and instructed them to speed up the metro work along with land acquisition process for proposed international airport work located at Purandar. After Pawar’s instructions, Maha-Metro has rescheduled its time table.
Gadgil said, “After Covid pandemic, most of the labourers working with the metro went back to their hometown. As there is not enough manpower, only essential works were carried out after acquiring permission from municipal corporation and district administration.”
Maha-Metro, the agency responsible for executing the metro rail work, had earlier missed its deadline twice to start operations on priority stretch. It was to start operations by December 2019 and later by April 2020.
Gadgil said that by September it is expected that the work will start at full capacity.
Hemant Sonawane, public relation officer, Maha-Metro, said, “We require almost 5,500 labourers. Even today hardly fifty to sixty per cent labours have come back to the city. But we expect within a few days, work will start in full capacity.”
According to Gadgil while the metro work has got affected due to unavailability of the labours, the work of the underground metro is progressing speedily as it requires less manpower. “It is mainly technology-driven work and very soon the tunnel between Range Hills and Civil court will be complete. Right now, underground tunnel work is completed till Range Hills to Shivajinagar MSRTC bus stop.”
Manpower crunch hampers work
Pune Metro had already completed its trial run in January this year. It was expected that by May or June, the commercial operations would start on the corridor in between PCMC and Range Hill, but due to the pandemic and lockdown restrictions, most of the labourers had returned to their hometowns.
The Maharashtra state government is likely to ease more restrictions in the month of September after Ganesh Visarjan and may also take decisions on E-passes.The issues are likely to be discussed and decided at the state cabinet meeting in Mumbai on Wednesday.From the first week of September, the government may reverse most of the lockdown decisions to restore normal life.Due to the rising cases of COVID-19, there had been restrictions on public and private transport since March 23. The restrictions have badly affected private cab and bus operators. Therefore, the Union Home Ministry on Saturday directed all the states to lift all restrictions on district and inter-state transport.Though the inter-district transport of MSRTC, which had been shut since March 23, resumed on August 20, the condition of e-pass is applicable for private vehicles to go outside the district. As part of Unlock 3, the Centre had allowed inter-state travel without any... more...
restrictions. But in Maharashtra, e- passes continue to be mandatory.There has been huge resentment among the citizens in the state over the compulsion of e-passes to go outside the district. The state and the Centre have received a number of complaints in this regard. Therefore, e-pass on private vehicles will be lifted after Ganeshotsav, sources said.Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has said that a decision regarding the removal of restrictions on interstate and intra-state movement people and goods will be taken soon. Mumbai's lifeline, the suburban local train service is currently open for essential staff only. The administration fears that opening up suburban local services to others could increase the risk of COVID. Therefore, the state government is considering increasing the number of suburban local services and limiting the number of passengers.However, this is unlikely to be taken in regards to the reopening of cinema halls, schools, restaurants, public parks and religious places.
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