101 services, but is it enough? | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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101 services, but is it enough?

mumbai Updated: Feb 25, 2010 01:30 IST
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More than 101 services on Central Railway, nearly Rs 330 crore for the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP), a study to connect Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) with Churchgate, a tentative plan to run Konkan Railway trains from Borivli, a host of ladies’ specials and upgradation of stations. Mumbai has got all this from the Railway Budget presented on Wednesday, but not what it really wanted — a plan to reduce congestion in trains, which would make your ride to work and back more comfortable.

There were also new suburban services on the Western Railway.

Crucial projects, such as conversion of nine-car Harbour line trains into 12-car ones and a rethink of the location of signals, remain unfulfilled. These could have made trains more comfortable and raised their speed.

The Budget, presented by Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee, announced a grade separator at Kurla, which is essentially an elevated corridor over the Harbour line that intersects the line going to the refineries at Mahul.

Banerjee announced the setting up of a high-speed passenger corridor. On it will run high-speed trains from Mumbai to Pune and Ahmedabad.

“The project to run Konkan Railway trains from Borivli is likely to be approved when the Budget is reviewed over the next few days,” said an official on condition of anonymity.

Stations like Thane, Vasai and Lokmanya Tilak Terminus at Kurla received a boost with makeover plans and a new set of outstation and ladies’ special trains.

Works under Phase 1 of MUTP have been targeted for completion by March 2011 and those under Phase 2 by 2014. The Budget allocated Rs 330 crore for both phases. An equal amount will come from the state government.

MUTP is a World Bank funded project to upgrade Mumbai’s transport infrastructure.

“There is no mention of the promised air-conditioned and elevated trains. The Budget is good, but there was scope to do more to reduce crowding,” said Rajiv Satav, a commuter.

An official said the Budget, instead of focusing on the core area, emphasises on things like hospitals and sports academies.