In a major boost to new railway infrastructure projects in the city, Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP)-3, which will largely contribute to improvement and expansion of the suburban rail network in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), is likely to get the crucial approval of expanded board of railways (EBR) on Wednesday.
After the clearance from the board, the proposal will be sent to the cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) for final sanction, after which the tenders for different construction works will be floated.
For the 70lakh suburban commuters, this means that new suburban railway lines connecting the MMR to the city will be sanctioned after a gap of eight years.
In 2008-09, new suburban lines were approved by the railways, as part of MUTP-2, which included the fifth and sixth line on the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)-Kurla and Thane-Diva stretch, sixth line between Mumbai Central and Borivali.
However, none of the projects have been completed so far owing to issues related to land acquisition.
MUTP-3 involves expanding the suburban rail network up to Dahanu by constructing the third and fourth lines on Virar-Dahanu (63km) and Airoli-Kalwa (4km) stretches and doubling of the Panvel-Karjat (28km) line.
Railway minister Suresh Prabhu, during his visit to the city last week, had asked railway officials to expedite the ongoing MUTP-2 projects and also indicated that some of the MUTP-3 projects could be inaugurated during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the city in October end, ahead of the 2017 civic polls.
“In all probability some of the projects will be inaugurated during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the city. We are simultaneously working on detailed estimation, final location survey and World Bank funding so as soon as cabinet approval comes, we are able to call for tenders,” said a senior railway official, requesting anonymity.