Soon, Pune Junction to get 2 battery-operated cars

Sushant Ranjan
Sunday, 5 May 2019

“There will be two BOCs available by May 15. The fare for the e-car per passenger will be Rs 40 as per the Railway norms across the country and Rs 10 per luggage. If the demand rises in the future, we will provide more e-cars," said a senior officer of BVG.

PUNE: After waiting for almost four years, finally two battery-operated cars (BOCs) will be deployed at Pune junction. The facility will be available by May 15. 

It will be provided by Bharat Vikas Group (BVG). The Indian Railway Station Development Corporation Limited (IRSDC) has signed an agreement with BVG, making the company responsible for various maintenance work at the station.

As per details provided by a BVG official, an e-car will be available at platform numbers 1 and 6. Preference to use it will be given to senior citizens, physically-challenged, pregnant women and the sick.

“There will be two BOCs available by May 15. The fare for the e-car per passenger will be Rs 40 as per the Railway norms across the country and Rs 10 per luggage. If the demand rises in the future, we will provide more e-cars," said a senior officer of BVG.

Interestingly, two years ago, the station was equipped with a BOC donated by a nationalised bank. The electricity for recharging the battery was provided by the station while the driver’’s salary was taken care of by the bank. However, the vehicle remained mostly idle as the contact number that had been circulated remained out of reach.

The service can be availed by passengers by advance booking on priority and for passengers without prior booking on a first-come-first-serve basis. However, preference shall be given to the senior citizens, physically challenged, pregnant women and ailing persons.

In 2016, the Railway Board had brought out circular passing orders to make the facility available at each and every A1 grade railway station in the country. Pune station is among the 75 railway stations across the country graded A1.

Mrityunjai Srivastav, a 71-year-old man, travelling recently from Pune, said, “The service is essential at all platforms. It takes almost half an hour to walk past the foot over-bridge. Hundreds of senior citizens have to walk to reach either the exit gate or to their coach. Most of the time, when I came to Pune, I book a wheelchair costing Rs 150. The battery-operated car is essential and will help passengers, especially senior citizens.”

Harsha Shah, President of Railway Pravasi Group, said, “The service should have started a long time ago. The last time they shut it down was because of the drivers, who were recruited by the Railways. They used to work at other places and deliberately kept their phones out of range so that they could not be reached.” 

“Railways should ensure that the service continues smoothly. They will have to be more responsible,” she added.

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