The Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has now become a model and will be used to strengthen suburban train services in other metropolitan cities.
Railway minister Mamataa Banerjee has proposed to set-up similar corporations in other cities such as Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Chennai for improving their suburban train networks.
“We would begin this by setting up the Kolkata Rail Vikas Corporation on the lines of MRVC. Similar corporations can be considered for other congested suburban systems in other states,” Banerjee said.
MRVC is an ideating organization, which is responsible for introducing new lines, routes, railway stations and other railway infrastructure. The rail corporation has implemented several projects pegged over Rs10,000-crore under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) over the last many years in the city. Some of the projects, which have been completed so far are the fifth line on Mahim-Santacruz, quadrupling of the Virar-Borivli section, introduction of over 115 new-age trains, and conversion from 1,500-volt DC to 25,000-volt AC.
MVRC had introduced 101 new-age trains on the suburban system by November 2010. The corporation is also working on introducing the fastest local train that can cross 110kmph, but technical problems have delayed it.
Dr PC Sehgal, managing director, MRVC said, “I am happy that our work was appreciated by the railway minister.”
But sources said that for implementing mega projects, there is a need for either commercial utilisation of the railway land or hike in fares. “We have to repay loans. Unless there is an outside source of income, it is very difficult to function,” said an official.