To expedite long-pending intra-state railway projects across Maharashtra, the government on Wednesday decided to form a new entity — Maharashtra Railway Infrastructure Development Corporation (MRIDC) — which will act as a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to coordinate with the Centre. The move is set to help the state raise funds to complete eight new railway routes, which have not seen progress even after being announced years ago.
The decision was made after CM Devendra Fadnavis reviewed various important Mumbai railway projects during a meeting with top officials from the Central, Western and South-Eastern Railways.
To make commuting easier and safer for Mumbaiites, the state has set a deadline of March 2018 for increasing height of platforms on all suburban railway stations. Besides, there will be more escalators, elevators, toilets, CCTV cameras in women’s compartment and luxurious seats in rakes. The government also plans to roll out the first air-conditioned suburban train by January next year.
To upgrade the suburban network, the state plans to request the Centre to prioritise the route between Virar and Panvel and make budgetary provision for it in the next railway budget.
The government will also push for development of medium-size suburban stations as model stations. Work on the sixth lane between Mumbai Central and Borivli and a fifth lane between Thane and Diva is also likely to be fast tracked.
The government has also proposed a Metro line between the Mumbai International Airport and the Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Notified Area (NAINA), a city which will have 30-odd zones specialising in various economic activities and townships, equipped with world-class infrastructure.
An elevated corridor between Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and Panvel, and an elevated road between Bandra Terminus and the Western Express Highway were some of the other projects that have been proposed.