Pune Metro project faces disruptions in construction, only 40 per cent workforce available

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Published on Aug 02, 2020 12:14 AM IST
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BySteffy Thevar, Pune

The Pune Metro which is a crucial project for the city has been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic as almost 50 per cent of its labour force is yet to return which has delayed the work and led to uncertainties regarding the project.

The trial run for the priority stretch between Sant Tukaram nagar and Phugewadi in reach one which was to commence in June end is yet to finish the station works while the priority stretch in reach two between Anand nagar and Garware is yet to be completed. In light of the uncertainties caused by the pandemic, the Mahametro which looks after the work of Pune metro is unable to set any new deadlines as of yet.

The Pune Metro project which is undergoing works in two phases, reach one and reach two has been badly affected.

Atul Gadgil, director (works) said, “The work force was depleted drastically in this pandemic. At the beginning of the pandemic, we had around 5,000 people working for us and currently we have close to 2,000 people including those who returned lately. The labour force is returning daily and weekly around 100-200 labourers are returning. Right now, we are working with only 50 per cent efficiency which has affected our deadline. The underground tunnelling work has completed about 2.5 kms and both the Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM) have crossed Shivajinagar. One TBM has reached the COEP underground while the other TBM is about to reach. We are targeting to reach civil court station by this month end and by September we hope that all of our staff will return.”

He added that under normal circumstances without the pandemic the priority stretch in reach one between Sant Tukaram Nagar and Phugewadi would have been commissioned while the reach two priority stretch would have been ready by July end.

He said, “Under new circumstances the reach one priority stretch would be ready by December and the reach two priority stretch would be about 60-65 per cent complete.”

However, the staff for the underground work is available for Budhwar peth, but the area is part of a containment zone which has led to a halt in the work.

The civic body is not allowing any construction work there. While the underground work at Swargate end is in progress.

Brijesh Dixit, managing director at Mahametro said, “It is true that the pandemic has affected our work but it will not delay the project much. Our labour force is returning now and we have also recruited local force from within the city. However we will not be able to set new deadlines till all our labour returns.”

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