Local trains to resume operations in Pune region
According to the latest Unlock 5.0 guidelines issued by the state government on Wednesday, local trains have been allowed to resume operations in Pune region.
Since the countrywide lockdown began on March 23, all the train operations in the Pune railway division had stopped operations. Now, almost after six months the local trains are resuming service in Pune which is a major transport mode for working people between Pune and Lonavla.
The Unlock 5.0 guidelines stated, “Local trains in Pune region to be resumed as per the protocols and procedure followed in MMR region. The commissioner of police, Pune, will be the nodal officer to coordinate for the same.”
Pune police commissioner Amitabh Gupta, said, “We will have to get it clarified. I will discuss it with stakeholders; railways, public demand, and health officials. I think it maybe about deciding the frequency, working and timings.”
Currently, there are eight local trains running between Pune and Lonavla in 42 schedules. In these schedules, 21 are from Pune to Lonavla and 21 are from Lonavla to Pune starting from 5 am to midnight. Daily 30,000 passengers, including students and officer-goers, used the route.
Pune divisional railway manager Renu Sharma said, “We have got the notification and according to it, the Pune police commissioner is the nodal officer for starting the local trains, so we will have a meeting with him tomorrow (Thursday). Also, I will have a meeting with our senior officials about starting of the local train operations. We will ensure the safety and security of passengers while starting the train operation on the Pune -Lonavla route. It will be decided later whether we want to start the train operations phase-wise or all together.”
Regular passengers on this route have welcomed this decision, Vasudha Kulkarni, an office-goer, said, “I live in Chinchwad and my office in Pune at JM road, earlier we used to daily travel by local trains, but now it had been difficult to travel to my office as local trains were not operating. So, I used to travel via PMPML buses but it would take a lot of time. We are happy that local trains are restarting now for public keeping all the safety precautions in mind.”