These projects will be undertaken on central, western and harbour railway lines, that carry over 7.6 million passengers in Greater Mumbai and suburbs everyday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to make an announcement in this regard during his visit to the city on December 10. He will visit Mumbai to lay the foundation stone for the Rs 10,986-crore DN Nagar to Mankurd Metro railway line — a part of state government’s plan to increase Metro network to 118 km from the present 11.4 km.
Some of the key projects include quadrupling of the 63-km Vasai-Dahanu line (Rs 3,555 crore), doubling of 28-km Panvel-Karjat line (Rs 2,618 crore), introducing 47 trains of 14 coaches each (Rs 2,899 crore), tresspass control measures (Rs 520 crore) and Airoli-Kalwa link road (Rs 428 crore). These are aimed to meet the demands of the ever-growing commuter traffic due to the rapid urbanisation. They are part of MUTP Phase III, that entails a total investment of Rs 52,000 crore.
Other projects comprise a 46.6 km fast corridor from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus to Panvel, with a connection to the proposed new Navi Mumbai International Airport (Rs 11,000 crore), extending the Harbour Line to Borivali, and multiple additional tracks being laid on existing routes.
The Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation, a public sector undertaking under the ministry of railways incorporated under the Companies Act, has launched talks with the World Bank for financial assistance for the implementation of MUTP phase-III.
The Union Cabinet’s approval comes at a time when the BJP and its ally Shiv Sena have started preparations for the elections of the 227-member BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The saffron alliance is ruling India’s richest civic body with an annual budget of over Rs 38,000 crore from the past 25 years. Both parties are gearing up for a solo fight, though the decision will be ultimately taken by the high commands of the respective parties ahead of poll slated for February next year.
A state government official told Business Standard, “MUTP is formulated by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to bring about improvement in the traffic and transport situation in the Mumbai metropolitan region with the active involvement of Indian Railways, Maharashtra Government, MRVC, BMC and the World Bank.’’ He informed that MUTP’s Phase I began in 2002 and was completed in 2011 with a total investment of Rs 4,526 crore. Phase II was launched with an estimated cost of Rs 7,006 crore.