Will Mumbai’s commuters get anything concrete in today’s railway budget to make their daily commute better? Will Railway Minster Dinesh Trivedi make their travel costlier by imposing a fare hike and also levy an MUTP surcharge?
These were the primary concerns of Mumbaiites a day before the railway budget was scheduled to be tabled in parliament.
On the other hand, state government and local railway officials were expecting funds for pending infrastructure upgrade projects. They appeared confident there will be announcements about an elevated rail corridor on the Churchgate-Virar section, 12-coach trains on the harbour line, and connectivity between Virar and Panvel.
“Based on the discussions and proposals sent by us, we expect a sanction for Churchgate-Virar elevated corridor and funds to expedite work on the much-delayed Nerul-Uran railway line project. We are also expecting sanction for certain futuristic projects like Virar-Diva-Panvel, a part of phase three of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project,” said a senior railway officer.
Compared to projects planned for the Western Railway (WR), there will be more focus on Central Railway (CR) projects in this budget, as there are very few on WR’s wish-list. WR officials are hoping to get the nod for quadrupling the Virar-Dahanu line, along with other projects.
Infrastructure upgrade on the harbour line is important for CR, considering connectivity to the proposed Navi Mumbai airport and easing pressure on the existing corridor. CR officials are expecting a feasibility study for the elevated corridor between CST-Panvel via Navi Mumbai airport and CST-Kalyan. We expect Rs810 crore to be sanctioned for starting 12-car locals on the harbour line, which didn’t get sanction in last ,” said a senior official.