Conceived nearly two decades ago, the Rs.16,039crore Nashik-Pune semi-highspeed rail corridor Greenfield project is finally on track.
“The state government has approved the construction of the project,” announced Maharashtra finance minister Ajit Pawar while presenting the state budget on the floor of the House on Monday.
According to Pawar, the 235km corridor will have 24 stations in Pune, Ahmednagar and Nashik. With trains of 200 km/ hr speed, the travel time between Nashik and Pune would be less than two hours. The trains will originate and terminate at the Nashik Road station and Pune junction. The Indian Railways had approved the project in June 2020 and the state government’s nod was required for the project to make headway.
Maharashtra Rail Infrastructure Development Corporation, the JV between the Maharashtra government and Indian Railways, will be the implementing agency. “This project is unique as it would be the first broad gauge semi-high speed rail track in the world. It is designed in such a manner that goods trains, conventional passenger trains and highspeed trains can run on the same track,” Rajesh Kumar Jaiswal, MD of MRIDC, said .
Nashik city MP Hemant Godse said that the project would be a game-changer for the region’s development.
After the project was planned two decades ago, the Railways did two feasibility studies in 2012-13. Later, a DPR was prepared in 2015, which was altered in 2018. MRIDC prepared a fresh DPR, which got the nod from the Railways and Maharashtra government.
MIRDC has planned logistic facilities for transportation for various industries, establish private freight terminal, dry port, multimodal and commercial hubs, warehouses etc. Industrial hubs of Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad and Nashik will benefit. The agency has set a deadline of 1,200 days for completion of the project from the date of financial closure.