Coronavirus pandemic: The Pune Metro, which is an upcoming metro project in the city of Pune, has suffered a blow due to the global crisis of Coronavirus. Titagarh Firema SPA, which is a wholly-owned Italy-based subsidiary of Titagarh Wagons Limited, has delayed manufacturing the prototype of new aluminium bodied Pune Metro coaches, according to a PTI report. The commencement of the manufacturing process was deferred because the plant operation in Italy was suspended after the Coronavirus outbreak in the country, the report said. Titagarh Firema had won the international bid worth Rs 1,100 crore forsupplying 102 aluminium bodied metro rail coaches for the Pune Metro network.
A Titagarh Wagons official was quoted in the report saying that the inauguration of the coach prototype manufacturing was supposed to happen on April 8, 2020, but it has been postponed as the operations of the company’s factory have been stopped till March 31, 2020. This has been done after following the advisory of the Italian government. Umesh Chowdhary, Managing Director (MD), Titagarh Wagons was quoted saying that they had planned the inauguration for manufacturing the Pune Metro coach prototype on April 8, 2020, but now, it has been delayed due to the outbreak. He added that the supply chain of the project got interrupted and the turnout of the employees was low. The normalisation of the operations is not confirmed as yet.
On March 16, 2020, Italy reported a total of 349 deaths due to Coronavirus infection, taking the total death toll since last month to 2,158. This is the most number of deaths after China.
The Pune Metro contract is for a total of 34 rakes, comprising three coaches each, which will be supplied by the company in a span of 160 weeks. 90 per cent of the Pune Metro coaches will be made in India, however, it will be done only after the prototypes arrive from Italy.
Meanwhile, in the city of Pune, the Pune Metro Rail Corporation has taken strict measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus infection. The casting yard of the Pune Metro has been sealed and the entry of outsiders has been restricted. In order to create awareness of preventing the infection, the Pune Metro staff and employees have been sensitized to wear masks and maintain hygiene during work hours. Sanitizers have been provided and display boards have been set up at the office sites. The Pune Metro corridors of phase-1 are likely to get ready for passenger services by the year 2022.