After expressing concern over the frequent disruptions on suburban trains, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis is now keen on fast-tracking suburban railway projects.
Fadnavis, who also holds the transport portfolio, conducted a review of the suburban railway projects implemented by the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC), at the Sahyadri guesthouse on Wednesday. Fadnavis asked the railway and the state authorities, including MRVC, to take necessary steps to complete the projects within the set deadline.
He also asked for the formation of a committee comprising officials from the MRVC, Central Railway, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) and the secretary of urban development department to resolve issues pertaining to alignment and other technical aspects of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus-Panvel elevated corridor.
The CST-Panvel corridor will provide rail connectivity to the proposed Navi Mumbai airport and ease the pressure on the existing harbour line. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 14,000 crore and it is expected to be ready by the end of 2019.
According to a senior railway official, who was present at the meeting, the CM said the CST-Panvel elevated corridor is important to provide rail-based transport connectivity to Navi Mumbai.
He also directed the Cidco officials to be flexible, while deciding the alignment of the corridor in Navi Mumbai.
Another official said the CM also agreed to sign a subsidiary finance agreement for the second phase of Mumbai Urban Transport Project. The cost of the project has escalated to Rs 7,300 crore from the initial Rs 5,300 crore. With this agreement, it will be binding on both the parties to share the escalated project cost on 50:50 basis.
The land acquisition for the sixth line between Mumbai Central and Borivli, handing over railway stations in Navi Mumbai to railways, commercial exploitation of air space over Thane, Mulund and Bhandup railway stations, speeding up work for 12-car trains on the harbour line were discussed at the meeting, said sources.