Two months ahead of the Centre’s Union railway budget, chief minister Devendra Fadanvis has sent the state’s wishlist to Union railway minister Suresh Prabhu, seeking funds worth more than Rs 600 crore for major ongoing railway projects in the state, besides additional services.
Fadnavis’ memorandum of demands was sent to Prabhu, who has said that special attention will be given to Mumbai’s suburban railway network, which is used by 75-lakh commuters every day.
The CM has demanded for the introduction of air-conditioned local trains, besides asking for cushioned seats in second-class compartments of more trains, and the provision of funds to control trespassing on the tracks.
To address the demand for a greater number of services for far-flung areas in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Fadnavis has demanded 50 services each on the Western Railway (WR) and Central Railway’s (CR) suburban network, along with more 15-coach trains.
According to sources, Fadnavis is expecting that new railway projects will get a nod in the railway budget and so has sent the memorandum of demands well in advance.
Fadnavis has sought Rs 500 crore for the second phase of the ongoing Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) II, and another Rs 20 crore for the Kalyan-Kasara third line project, in addition to Rs 100 crore for the Nerul-Belapur-Uran line.
In his letter to Prabhu, Fadnavis has requested approval for a third phase of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP-III), in which he has sought a nod for the Panvel-Karjat doubling project, and the Airoli-Kalwa elevated link project. Officials are hoping that with BJP ruling at both the Centre and the state, there are chances of these demands being accommodated in the budget.