The ambitious Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) III infrastructure projects worth more than Rs10,000 crore will be jointly financed by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the World Bank in a 40:60 ratio.
The project, aimed to expand the suburban rail network across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), was cleared by the union Cabinet on Wednesday and was extensively discussed by the World Bank, AIIB officials and Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) on Thursday in the day-long meeting.
The opposition parties, meanwhile, said that with the central nod commuters will have to pay more for the repayment of MUTP-III funds. Railway officials are proposing a loan of Rs7,000 crore from the international financial institutions, while the remaining Rs4,441 crore will be equally funded by the railway ministry and the state government.
“The World Bank and AIIB will jointly fund the loan amount for the project in a 60:40 ratio. We are discussing the process with them and in all probability, the tenders will be floated by the end of the month,” said Prabhat Sahai, chairman and managing director of MRVC.
The MUTP-III project comprises construction of the third and the fourth lines between Virar-Dahanu (63km), Airoli-Kalwa (4km), which will provide easier access to suburban commuters between Kalyan-Panvel, and doubling of Panvel-Karjat (28km).
The MRVC is likely to start the work on all the three projects by October in 2017. “The project will take at least five years, but we are trying to finish it faster; specially, the Kalwa-Airoli link, which is a high priority project,” added Sahai. Meanwhile, the Congress raised questions over the union Cabinet’s nod to MUTP-III project, alleging that it would increase the fare.
Citing the condition laid down by the Niti Aayog, the Congress said that commuters will be burdened if the nod to the project comes with the rider. Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said that Niti Ayog had directed the railways to go for an automatic fare revision before approving the project.
Rail officials said if the fare revision is implemented it will be for the entire nation and not only for Mumbai.