There is some hope of limited services of the local suburban trains starting soon with SCR General Manager Gajanan Mallya accepting a suggestion made by one of the mediapersons during the virtual interaction on Thursday. Mumbai had started the local trains in a limited way and therefore, the same could be considered here, he was requested.
The local train services were shut ever since the lockdown and did not start because of the ‘Work From Home’ by most IT/ITES employees and also students having online classes but now limited services can be considered, said Mr. Mallya.
With regard to the phase II of the MMTS, he said most of the works pertaining to the project are scheduled to be completed, but commencement of suburban services is unlikely given the pending payment from the TS government and the railways having spent ₹400 crore more than what it was supposed under the 2/3rd funding pact made.
“It is difficult to say when the services will start but we have been making use of the railway infrastructure like we had commissioned the Ghakesar-Cherlapalli line recently,” he said. Cherlapalli terminal station is very much on track with the allocation of ₹ 50 crore and as the works start the zone could seek more funds.
“The total cost is likely to be about ₹240 crore and it could take up to three years to complete the project. We have sought 100 acres from the government but right now the works are being taken up on our own land,” he said. The proposed Nagulapalli terminal station towards the west side of the twin cities has been grounded because the land available is at “right angles” and not at all feasible for the railways infrastructure.
At the same time land has been identified at Tellapur for setting up maintenance yard for the proposed private trains scheduled to become operational within the next two years. The focus this year will be to get back to the ‘normal working mode’ of running 193 originating trains before the pandemic as 123 were restarted so far.
“Once the the ongoing doubling, tripling of lines along with the freight corridors are completed, then we can consider starting new trains as the National Railway Plan has been drawn up till 2030. We will try to provide better services in the meantime,” he added.