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Ahead of BMC polls, ticket app, more infra for city’s commuters

mumbai Updated: Oct 03, 2016 01:05 IST
Prajakta Kunal Rane
Prajakta Kunal Rane
Hindustan Times

(From left) BJP MP Poonam Mahajan, Union railway minister Suresh Prabhu, Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis and actor Anil Kapoor during the launch of beautification of 36 suburban railway staitions at Bandra on Sunday. (Satish Bate/HT PHOTO)

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections, the BJP-led state government has started flagging off development projects for Mumbai.

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday announced PM Narendra Modi will launch the elevated corridor between Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and Panvel and Bandra-Virar fast corridor during his visit to the city next month.

He also announced a single electronic mobile ticket for all public transport, offering respite to Mumbaiites, who spend at least an hour commuting to work.

Fadnavis made the announcement at the suburban station beautification programme, Hamara Station Hamari Shaan, organized by Mumbai First and Making A Difference (MAD) Foundation at Bandra station on Sunday.

“We will launch the construction of CST-Panvel and Bandra-Virar elevated corridor at the hands of PM Modi. Currently, the suburban railway carries 70 lakh passengers. With the elevated corridor and metro network spanning over 117km, we would be able to mobilise another 80 lakh passengers daily,” said Fadnavis.

“The electronic ticketing app will help commuters access all kinds of public transport. Ideally, these facilities should have been provided 10 years ago,” said Fadnavis, taking a potshot at the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) government, which ruled the state for 10 years from 2004.

With more than 1 crore daily passengers (75 lakh on CR and WR, and 30 lakh on BEST buses), the city’s public transport is the biggest platform to reach out to people ahead of civic polls. Moreover, the Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro and Chembur to Bhakti-Park monorail cater to three lakh passengers daily.

“Citizens are organically connected with suburban trains or buses, so any upgrade in public transport system will directly affect millions of people. Making changes to BEST bus or railway station is under the purview of the state and Centre, so reaching out to masses is a politically sensible move,” said Dr Surendra Jondhale, political analyst.

Thirty-six suburban stations will be beautified under the beautification project from October 2 to October 8. On the WR, all suburban stations from Churchgate to Dahisar will be beautified, while on the CR, all suburban stations between Masjid Bunder and Thane, except Matunga, Vidyavihar and Dadar, will be beautified.

Shishir Joshi, chief executive officer, Mumbai First, said, “This has all the makings of the world’s most massive public private people (PPP) partnership initiative. It has truly unified Mumbai creating a sense of ownership. In a way, this will pave the way for a behavioral change for the better too.”