PUNE In a bid to improve train operations and facilities for passengers travelling from the Pune railway division, several new projects were undertaken in 2020.
Right from the redevelopment of stations, to completing the electrification work of the Pune–Kolhapur section and working on track safety measures – all were undertaken done by the Pune railway division in 2020.
“2020 has been a tough year for all of us due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but we looked at it as an opportunity to develop and improve our infrastructure, and passenger facilities under our division. Accordingly, various works and projects were undertaken. Some were completed, some are in progress and some are proposed. We redeveloped nine major stations in our division last year with improvements in lighting, a building for special toilets, a goods shed and installation of steel benches at all 72 stations in our division. Booking office augmentation was completed at five stations and most importantly, doubling of railway tracks on three major routes is done,” said Renu Sharma, Pune divisional railway manager.
Over the last year seven stations platform were fully covered, four new foot overbridges (FOBs) were completed, at eight stations, high-level platforms were built, and at the Pune, Pimpri and Kolhapur stations escalators were installed; at the Miraj station a lift was installed.
The Pune railway division has in place infrastructure to provide free Wi-Fi service at 72 stations.
As passengers trains were stopped during the lockdown, the division focused on goods transport for revenue generation, for which, the division set-up business development units (BDUs).
“These BDUs are for aggressive marketing to boost freight and parcel loading of railways. This unit consisting of senior officers interacts frequently with traders and industry to generate more traffic and revenue for railways. We have identified several goods sheds across the division to allow for traders to work. Also waggon repairing and maintenance work is going on. Our officials approach the traders and other logistic companies to get more trade. This project work is going on a big level now, and whomever we meet – industrial people, politicians or traders – we first tell them about BDU trade. The main reason behind this BDU project is to improve the earnings of the railways which has suffered allot due to Covid-19 pandemic.” added Sharma.
Talking about the Pune division work and passengers requirement, Harsha Shah, president, Railway Pravasi Group, said, “Last year passengers trains were stopped due to Covid-19 pandemic, but now train operations are increasing and accordingly, the passenger crowd is seen at the railway stations. Considering this, railways now need to work as per the new normal, post-Covid, and improve its safety arrangements at the station, in circulating areas and inside the trains.”
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