While several railway projects for Maharashtra were cleared in the budget presented by union railway minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday, the promises failed to impress the ruling BJP’s ally Shiv Sena.
Prabhu gave approval for railway line projects worth Rs22,000 crore for the state, including the Mumbai Urban Transport Project 3 (MUTP-3) which is pegged at Rs11,441 crore. A token provision of Rs1 crore has been made for MUTP 3. Mumbai got an allocation of more than Rs1,000 crore, including Rs511 crore for MUTP 2, which is in progress.
Prabhu, who hails from Konkan, cleared two crucial projects for the coastal region. He gave approval for the Karad-Chiplun railway line, which will connect Konkan with western Maharashtra. The project cost is pegged at Rs1,200 crore. He also approved another new railway line connecting the upcoming Dighi Port with Roha in Raigad. The 34-km line will cost an estimated Rs723 crore. Other cleared projects include a third line connecting Pune and Lonavla, doubling of the Pune-Miraj-Londa line and a third line between Wardha and Ballarshah stations in Vidarbha.
Shiv Sena MPs, however, demanded clarity. “They have said so many things in the budget. But where will the money come from?” said senior Sena leader and MP Gajanan Kirtikar.