Union railway minister Suresh Prabhu on Friday said the Centre and the Maharashtra government will float a special purpose vehicle (SPV), a financial entity to deal with infrastructure issues in the state, with special stress on Mumbai’s railways.
Prabhu made the announcement on Twitter, where he said, “We will work with Maharashtra Govt to create separate SPV to address State issues. Discussed with CM. Both Govts will work on it [sic]”.
Following the protests on the central line on Friday, both the Centre and state governments are trying to chart out a revamp programme for the crippling suburban railway network in Mumbai.
Explaining the structure of the SPV, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis told HT, “We are looking at floating an entity that will check the infrastructure investment needed to improve the commute for people in Mumbai and Maharashtra. Solutions such as water transport are needed to improve connectivity, and this needs to be pursued aggressively.”
Prabhu directed the general manager of Central Railway to solve all grievances of commuters and pending demands of motormen. He also announced that a feasibility study will be conducted for the Diva-CST line to see whether there can be alternative routes or double lines can be put in the corridor, which faces heavy commuter traffic.
While talking to the media on the sidelines of a BJP function in Mumbai, Prabhu said protests that broke out at Diva were unfortunate. “The railway network is under tremendous stress and we are drawing up plans to revamp it. It [the damage] was an avoidable loss to national property. This must be avoided in the future,” he said.
Fadnavis, who had deputed MoS home Ranjit Patil to the spot, said, “The situation has been reviewed. I have spoken to Mr Suresh Prabhu and now the government will work on a corrective course in future.”