Two months before Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls, key rail infrastructure projects for Mumbai and Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) will be kick-started in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, their actual construction work will start only after a year.
On Saturday, PM Modi will digitally lay foundation for Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) 3 projects, which include Panvel-Karjat (28km) suburban corridor, Airoli-Kalwa (2km) elevated corridor link and quadrupling of Virar and Dahanu (63.8km) route. The above projects will expand suburban railway network while allowing criss-cross movement within MMR and easy accessibility to suburban commuters.
Moreover, the state government will also enter a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ministry of railways for Bandra-Virar, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)-Panvel elevated corridor and Vasai-Diva-Panvel suburban corridor.
However, these projects’ actual construction work will start only by end of 2017. “We are in the process of tendering MUTP 3 projects but it will take at least a year to finalise the tender and allow contractor to bring the equipments on site. This entire process will take at least one year, before that no actual work will start,” said senior railway official.
For 75 lakh suburban commuters, this means digital foundation laying of the suburban corridors, which they will be able to access only five years after the actual work starts.
Criticising the government’s move Sanjay Nirupam, President of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee, said, “The foundation laying of these projects is pushed only keeping the BMC polls in view. The elevated corridors for which railways will sign MOU have not yet received requisite sanctions. This is nothing but political gimmick before elections to woo voters.”