Pune metro which is working in two phases is set to start commercial operations between Pimpri and Range Hills from December 2020, and between Vanaz to Civil Court by March 2021, according to the new deadlines set 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.”
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.”
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.”
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. 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 hometown.