Pune Nashik semi-high speed rail to become a reality soon
Process of land acquisition has begun
The Maharashtra government has commenced acquiring land for the 233 km Pune-Nashik semi-high speed rail project. The project will bring down travel time between the two cities from the present six to seven hours to under two hours.
The state government has put on fast track its large infrastructure projects. One of these is the Pune-Nashik semi-high speed rail link, which will bring down travel time and boost passenger and freight movement and facilitate creation of Mumbai-Pune-Nashik golden triangle and economic hub.
The project billed as the first low-cost semi-high speed corridor in the country would cost Rs 16,039 crore. It will see trains running at a speed of 200km per hour, with its design allowing for an upgrade to 250 km per hour in future.
The project will be developed by the Maharashtra Rail Infrastructure Development Corporation (MRIDC), a 50:50 joint venture between the government of Maharashtra and the Ministry of Railways. The state and the Centre will provide Rs 3,208 crore each for the project and the remaining will come from funding agencies in India and overseas.
The state government approved the project in 2017, but it was only after the Indian Railways green-lighted the project in June 2020 that preparations got off the ground.
The government has put land acquisition work on the fast track following the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.
In all, 1,470 ha of land will be required in Pune, Ahmednagar and Nashik districts. The railway line will pass through 112.10 km in Pune, 58 km in Ahmednagar and 63.75 km in Nashik. Around 575 ha has to be acquired in Pune’s Haveli, Junnar and Ambegaon tehsils.
The authorities will require around Rs 1,300-1,500 crore for acquiring the land with the money to be made available by the Indian Railways.
The project is expected to be completed in 1,200 days once construction work starts. MRIDC will carry out in-house design and drawing work, doing away with consultants. It will also be the first such rail project to see both the lines being constructed simultaneously.
The broad-gauge line will begin at the Pune Railway Station and terminate at the existing Nashik Railway Station, with 24 stations in all. Moreover, there will be multimodal hubs at major railway stations along the route, ensuring connectivity to bus terminuses, Metro stations and freight terminals.
The nodal agency plans to procure six train sets with six coaches each, allowing a passenger load of 450 per journey. The revenue from the line is estimated at Rs 1,643 crore in FY25 and Rs 2,394 crore in FY30.