Infrastructure projects in the city received a major boost this year, with the centre allocating Rs 636 crore for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region in the railway budget and approving two major projects by making token allocations.
The pink book, released three days after the Union Budget was tabled in Parliament, contains the division-wise budget allotment, including allocation from the Railway Budget to the Central (CR) and Western Railway (WR).
While the centre hasn’t allocated the entire project amount for some projects, the token allotments indicate acknowledgement by the ministry. This way, if projects are approved this year, more amount can be sanctioned without waiting for next year’s railway budget.
“The allocation is the token amount sanctioned to begin work. In case we require more funds in the current year, we will surely get another sanction, said Prabhat Sahai, Managing director, Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC).
Here’s a detailed breakdown of how the Rs 636 crore budget was allocated:
Rs 411 crore to Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) III
A lion’s share of this year’s railway budget was allocated to the MUTP III, which includes the Airoli-Kalwa link, quadrupling of the Virar-Dahanu line and the new Panvel-Karjat corridor. The Rs 10,000 crore project will be executed on a 50:50 basis between state government and railways, meaning that the state will put up another Rs 411 crore.
The Airoli-Kalwa link (3 km) will reduce congestion at Thane station, while the quadrupling of tracks between Dahanu Road and Virar (63 km) will extend suburban services from Churchgate to Dahanu Road and cater to the growing number of commuters.
The Panvel and Karjat corridor (28 km), on the other hand, will cut down travel time between CST and Karjat by 40 minutes by creating an alternate route via Panvel. It will also be shorter from the existing route via Kalyan by 23 km.
In addition, the railway ministry has also given an in-principle nod to building 47 air-conditioned trains with closed doors and vestibules under the MUTP III.
The MUTP III had received Rs 5 crore in last year’s budget as a major chunk was allocated to MUTP II (Rs 631 crore out of Rs 771 crore). With the allocation of Rs 411 crore, MRVC can float bids to start work and commence initial phases of the MUTP III project.
Rs 10 lakh to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)-Panvel elevated corridor
Although the allocation was made for only Rs 10 lakh, the ministry has sanctioned the entire cost of the near Rs 15,000 crore project. The cost for the 55 km corridor will be shared on a 50:50 basis by Maharashtra government and the railways.
The fast corridor for the harbour line will provide connectivity to the proposed Navi Mumbai airport and is currently awaiting approval from NITI Aayog.
Rs 10 lakh to Panvel-Vasai-Virar quadrupling project
The government allocated Rs 10 lakh and sanctioned Rs 8,787 crore for the project. The cost for the 72 km corridor will also be shared on a 50:50 basis by Maharashtra government and the railways.
The project will improve east-west connectivity in the MMR and reduce congestion on existing suburban corridors. It is awaiting approval from Union Cabinet.
Rs 10,000 to Bandra-Virar elevated corridor
The Rs 10,000 allocation implies an acknowledgement by the Union Rail Ministry. The MSRV can begin work and send paperwork to the government for approval. The near Rs 10,000 crore project will be developed through a public-private partnership.
Experts, however, say that the project is not likely to get preference because of the Dahisar-Bandra-Mankhurd and Colaba-Bandra-Seepz metros that are in the works.
Rs 137 crore for MUTP II
The MUTP II, which is nearing completion was allotted Rs 137 crore. It includes the projects like 5th line between CST-Kurla, 6th line between Borivali-Mumbai Central and extension of harbour line up to Goregaon.
Apart from the extension projects, addition of 70 new locals, introduction of 12-car rakes on harbour line and DC-AC conversion on the Central line were all covered under MUTP II.
The Rs 7,300 crore project is also being executed on a 50:50 basis between Maharashtra government and railways. As a result, the state will match the allocation and put up Rs 137 crore.
Other major allocations
* Rs 33 crore for passenger amenities like toilets, escalators, foot over bridges etc.
* Rs 4.5 crore for track and boundary work on Neral and Matheran route.
* Rs 20 lakh for digitising ticket reservation through machines and mobile phones for promoting cashless transactions.