By Elton Gomes
Up to Rs 65,000 crore has been approved for several rail infrastructure projects on Mumbai’s suburban rail network and its surrounding areas, Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said on Sunday.
The investment for these projects was proposed in this year’s Union budget. Some of the new projects include new works and upgradation of existing facilities on the busy network, Goyal said.
Goyal lauded the Maharshtra government for being proactive in supporting these infrastructure projects, which seek to improve transportation and passenger amenities.
“With the blessings of our visionary Prime Minister Narendra Modi and with active support of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the decision of having an investment of a whopping Rs 60,000 to Rs 65,000 crore in the last proposed budget has been approved,” Goyal said, PTI reported.
“This will ensure upgradation of the suburban railway system of Mumbai and its adjacent areas,” he added.
Indian Railways to play important role in Maharashtra’s economy
Goyal was speaking after commissioning of the new Nerul-Seawoods Darave-Belapur-Kharkopar suburban rail corridor in Navi Mumbai.
Goyal along with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis commissioned the first phase of the corridor at the Kharpokar railway station.
Addressing the gathering, Goyal said Fadnavis has set a target for Maharashtra to become a trillion-dollar economy by 2025, and the Indian Railways will play an important role in achieving this target, he said, as per a PTI report.
Goyal inaugurates Nerul-Belapur-Kharkopar corridor
Goyal, on Sunday, inaugurated the Nerul-Belapur-Kharkopar corridor. The 465-kilometre Mumbai suburban railway network entered a new region in Raigad district.
Situated on the Central Railway, the 12-kilometre Nerul-Belapur-Kharkopar corridor will connect Nerul and Belapur in Navi Mumbai with Kharkopar in Ulwe. The satellite city of Ulwe has been rapidly developing and is located near the proposed Navi Mumbai international airport.
Regular services on the 12-km line have been scheduled to start from Monday. Services will link Ulwe with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Panvel on the harbour route. They will connect with Thane on the trans-harbour corridor.
77 suburban stations to get new amenities
While inaugurating the induction of eight MEMU services between Vasai Road-Diva-Panvel-Pen, Goyal announced that 77 suburban stations will be getting new amenities.
These amenities included six FOBs (foot over bridges), 41 escalators at 23 stations, 10 lifts at six stations, half a dozen toilets at as many stations, 318 new ATVMs (Automatic Ticket Vending Machines).
In addition, IP-based suburban train indicators will be fixed at 10 stations, while 206 additional CCTV cameras will be fixed at six stations.
Furthermore, two booking offices will be developed at Bhiwandi Road and Navde Road stations. Platform heights of suburban stations will be raised from 273 mm to 900 mm. The Railways also plans to initiate a one-megawatt solar power plant at EMU Carshed in Sanpada, according to a PTI report.
Western Railway plans to build 74 FOBs in next two years
After the Amritsar train tragedy, the Western Railway (WR) recently decided to build 74 foot over bridges (FOBs) in Mumbai within the next two years.
WR plans to construct the FOBs on the stations and mid-sections between two railway stations. This will definitely be a boon for commuters. The development is also important keeping in mind that till September 2018, more than 1200 people have died crossing the tracks in Mumbai.
WR officials have set a target of building 74 foot over bridges by March 2020. In 2017-18, the WR had built 10 FOBs. “We will be constructing 39 FOBs by March 2019. There are few remaining on which work is underway,” Ravinder Bhakar, chief PRO, told DNA.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius
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