The Railway Budget gave a boost to various ongoing projects under the Mumbai Urban Transportation Plan with a sanction of Rs 555 crore. The Western Railway (WR) has been allocated Rs 7,042 crore, which is a 10.96 per cent increase from the previous year, while the Central Railway (CR) was given another Rs 4,399 crore, an increase of 2.16 per cent.
On WR, a new terminus at Jogeshwari was allocated Rs 1 crore while a token amount of Rs 1,000 was given for enhancing the track speed to 160 kmph on the Mumbai-Delhi corridor in the budget for 2020-21, to signal that the project is not dead yet. Heritage restoration work for Bandra was allocated Rs 4.24 crore, for which tenders had been called last year.
But it is the budget provision of merely Rs 16.06 crore towards passenger amenities that involves construction of foot overbridges at stations such as Lower Parel, Prabhadevi, Goregaon and Borivali, among other stations — officials say the amount falls woefully short of what is required.
Only Rs 4.6 crore was allocated towards the regirdering of road overbridges at Charni Road, Grant Road, Elphinstone Road, Lower Parel, Dadar, Mahalaxmi and Mumbai Central and another bridge at Virar-Viatarna. “The amount allocated towards these bridges is not even sufficient for the construction of one of these bridges,” said an official from Western Railway.
The platform extension work from Andheri to Virar, to accommodate 15-coach trains, for capacity augmentation, was allocated Rs 50 lakh as against Rs 23 crore allocated last year. “The total execution of platform extension is pegged at Rs 59 crore, of which Rs 23 crore was received last year. But with a budgetary grant of merely Rs 50 lakh, the project will take a hit,” said a senior WR official.
For the execution of urban transportation projects, the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) have been granted a total of Rs 555 crore as against a need of Rs 604 crore, of which Rs 200 crore is for MUTP-2, which includes the construction of the 5th and 6th line between Thane and Diva, the 5th and 6 th line between CSMT to Kurla and the 6th line from Mumbai Central to Borivali. The construction of the 5th and 6th line is crucial to create a separate corridor for running long-distance trains. The 5th and 6th line between Thane and Diva has been pending for the past decade and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.
For MUTP-3, which is estimated to cost Rs 10,947 crore, Rs 300 crore was allocated for this year as against last year’s Rs 283.78 crore. The project includes the quadrupling of Virar-Dahanu and a new corridor between Karjat and Panvel, for which land acquisition is in process. Another Rs 50 crore was allocated towards projects under MUTP-3A, which includes Communication Based Train Control (CBTC).
On Central Railway, the second phase of Seawoods-Belapur-Uran line has received Rs 100 crore, but the project is stuck over a 3-km plot of land that has to be acquired from the forest department. A token amount of Rs 1,000 was given towards developing CSMT into a world-class museum.