Pune-Nashik rail line survey

The long-pending proposal of laying a railway track between Pune and Nashik has finally moved ahead with the Central Railway recently announcing a final location survey for the project.
The survey will propose the alignment of the track and study in detail various other aspects like location of stations, loading-unloading places, possible freight and passenger quantum and requirement of land for infrastructure. The railway administration has invited tenders to appoint a firm to carry out the survey work, which is expected to be completed within six months.
The new line will have a total length of 265 km and will connect the two fastest growing cities in the state.Officials in the railway administration said the proposal has been under consideration for long and that the plan gained momentum in the last couple of years.
The Central Railway has earmarked Rs.1.98 crore for the survey . Officials said that it is important to get details of the land where the track is to be laid. The survey will focus on land-holding pattern and study the villages along the proposed alignment. Physical inspection of surrounding areas will also be done. The railway line is proposed to run along towns like Chakan, Rajgurunagar, Manchar, Narayangaon, Alephata and Sinnar.
Nashik is the only city in the state which is not directly connected to Pune with a rail link. At present, all trains between Pune and Nashik go via Kalyan or commuters have to travel to Manmad and then take a train to Nashik, spending more than six to seven hours in travelling time.
Besides commuters, there have been repeated demands from local MPs in Pune and rural areas for a direct rail line between Pune and Nashik.
Vilas Joshi, a city-based entrepreneur, said that the state highway between Pune and Nashik is inadequate to cater to the increasing demands of travellers between the two cities. “A direct rail connection will also help in bringing down additional load on the Pune-Kalyan and Pune-Manmad rail sections,“ he added.
Experts said a direct line between the two cities was vital considering the pace at which the two cities were growing. The state government has developed high class industrial belts at Chakan, Rajgurunagar, Sinnar and Sangamner, which could benefit from the rail connection. The survey should lead to a logical conclusion and ensure that the project is cleared without any hurdles.

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