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Union Budget had nothing for Mumbai's overcrowded local trains: Activists

They pointed out that the Mumbai suburban network did not even get a mention in the Budget speech whereas there was an announcement about the Rs 18,600-crore Bengaluru suburban transport project

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Mumbai local train
Mumbai local train

Transport activists in Mumbai on Saturday said they were disappointed with the 2020-21 Budget announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as it had nothing for the massively overcrowded suburban railway network, considered the lifeline of the country's commercial capital.

They pointed out that the Mumbai suburban network did not even get a mention in the Budget speech whereas there was an announcement about the Rs 18,600-crore Bengaluru suburban transport project.

However, officials at Mumbai-headquartered Western and Central Railways said they would wait for the 'Pink Book', which details the Budget allotments for the railways across the country for the fiscal in question, before offering a comment.

National Railway Users Consultative Committee Subhash Gupta said he was expecting an announcement of funds for the Mumbai Urban Transport Project phase three and two-A.

"There was neither mention of MUTP-3 and 2A fund allocation nor about grants of funds for projects from the already announced Rs70,000 crore. Nor is there an announcement on creation of separate zone for Mumbai railway area. The Budget is disappointing as far as Mumbai suburban network is concerned," Gupta said.

Activist Lata Arghade wondered if the announcement of more Tejas trains would be of any use to the common man since the fares of these services are higher than normal ones.

"The Mumbai suburban network has been completely ignored," Arghade added.

Earlier, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray also expressed disappointment over the lack of announcements in the Budget for the Mumbai suburban network.

"There is no mention of the suburban railway network (in Mumbai) and development of proposed lines (on the Central and Western Railway routes)," he said.

"The budget gives no momentum to the development of railway network in the state except for the mention of projects announced earlier, such as the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train," Thackeray said.

The Mumbai suburban network is among the most congested in the world with over 3000 services per day carrying some eight million passengers.

First Published: Sat, February 01 2020. 21:11 IST
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