In a contentious move that has sparked debate, calls for the immediate launch of an intercity train service between Pune and Belagavi are gaining momentum, urging authorities not to wait for the Vande Bharat train. Despite the Central Railway having already prepared a timetable for the Intercity service last month, its implementation has been put on hold due to the burgeoning demand for the Vande Bharat Express.
The demand for an efficient rail link between Pune and Belagavi has been resounding for over half a decade, with commuters enduring the absence of a direct connection between these key cities. Despite its readiness, the postponement of the Intercity service has worsened the frustrations of travelers who have long awaited a reliable mode of transportation.
Sources within the Pune Division have expressed readiness to commence operations for the Intercity service, emphasizing its importance in addressing the longstanding grievances of commuters, including those traveling via Sangli and Miraj. Even the late MoS Railways, Suresh Angadi, had been approached with appeals to initiate the Intercity service, underscoring its significance within the railway community.
As the political climate intensifies with upcoming elections, proponents of the Intercity service argue that now is the opportune moment to initiate the much-needed connection. With March looming closer, the urgency to alleviate the travel woes of thousands is paramount, especially given the historical neglect of the Pune-Belagavi route.
Electrification work along the Belagavi-Pune stretch is projected to take considerable time (6-12 months), rendering the Vande Bharat service unfeasible in the immediate future. However, establishing the Intercity service could offer a timely solution to the pressing demands of travelers.