After clamour from commuters, Pune Metro services will start at 6 am from Thursday.
On Tuesday, on the occasion of the Independence Day, the Pune Metro had registered a record ridership of 1.24 lakh.
Meanwhile, the MahaMetro, which is implementing the Pune Metro project, Thursday said it has launched an investigation into the disruption of power supply which affected the metro service for 15 minutes on Monday.
Currently, the service starts from 7am and ends at 10 pm.
Commuters, especially college-going students and long-distance travellers who have to catch trains from Pune and Shivajinagar railway stations, had been demanding that MahaMetro should start service from 6 am.
On both the Pimpri to Shivajinagar civil court and Vanaz to Ruby Hall Clinic routes, the trains will start at 6 am.
Shravan Hardikar, chairman and MD of MahaMetro, said, “Even Deputy CM Ajit Pawar and District Guardian Minister Chandrakant Patil had directed us to start early morning service for the convenience of the commuters. We too have conducted a study and have now decided to launch 6 am service from Thursday.”
As of now, Hardikar said the evening closure time of 10 pm remains the same. “The Metro service is truly not full-fledged yet. We are still studying different aspects and timings. In the near future, as ridership rises, we will consider extennding the service till 11pm or till midnight…We will have to see how the ridership unfolds in the coming days,” he said.
On August 15, the Pune Metro registered the highest ever ridership of 1.24 lakh since the first Metro was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March last year. For months, since the Metro service was flagged off, it had an average daily ridership of 4,000 commuters. Now, it hovers around 38,000 commuters with the peak reaching on Saturdays and Sundays when the MahaMetro is offering 30 per cent concession in tickets.
Meanwhile, the MahaMetro said it had taken the issue of power failure which disrupted the Pune Metro service for 20 minutes “very seriously”. “We have launched an investigation to find out the reason behind the power supply disruption to the Metro services,”” Hardikar said.
“It is a serious lapse and we are trying to find out what or who exactly is responsible for this,” he said. Hardikar said the disruption should not have happened and therefore he has taken action against the entire traction team.
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“I have withheld the award which was supposed to be given to entire traction and electrical team. We take power from Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company Limited (MSETCL). After failure of power supply, the switch over should have happened… It took time for the switch over or might be something tripped…I have asked the officials to find out exactly what happened.” Hardikar added that for 15 minutes the train service was affected and 20 minutes power supply was disrupted.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd (MSEDCL) claimed that neither it nor the MSETCL was responsible for the disruption of power supply to Metro services.
“It happened due to failure of their internal mechanism and it has nothing to do with us,” an MSEDCL press release stated.