Railway minister Suresh Prabhu, in his second railway budget on Thursday, made a provision of Rs631 crore to fund the ongoing projects under second phase of Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP).
“Mumbai is the financial capital of India and needs a robust transport system. However, the suburban railway system, the lifeline of the city is over stressed. In principle approval of MUTP-III has been received from NITI Aayog to move forward,” said Prabhu during his budget speech in Parliament.
Prabhu also made a token provision of Rs5 crore for the third phase of the project, which was recently approved by the Niti Aayog. With this, the third phase of the project, which aims at upgrading the city’s railway infrastructure and widening the existing suburban network, has been kick-started.
MUTP is being executed jointly by the Centre and the state. The Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has the revised cost of the ongoing second phase at Rs7,012 crore and estimated the third phase at Rs11,441 crore.
Prabhu had approved MUTP III in his maiden Railway Budget last year. Following Niti Ayog’s nod, an approval from the cabinet committee on economic affairs is awaited and is likely to come through soon, MRVC officials said.
Under MUTP-III, 47 new suburban trains will be added, 20 stations will be redeveloped and trespassing control measures will be undertaken.
Prabhu allocated Rs631 crore for the ongoing MUTP-II. While Rs80 crore has been allocated for 12-car trains on the Harbour line, Rs40 crore each has been sanctioned for Belapur-Seawood-Uran railway line and Kalyan-Kasara third line and Rs12 crore for installing automatic signaling on the Virar-Diva-Panvel line.
Along with laying the fifth and sixth lines between Thane and Diva stations and extending the Harbour line up to Goregaon, 72 new rakes will be procured under MUTP-II. Of those, 25 trains have already reached the city.
“Once all harbour line trains are converted into 12 cars from existing nine-cars, the passenger carrying capacity will go up by 33%,” said a senior Central Railway official, who did not wish to be named.