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In Mumbai, Union railway minister travels by train from Parel to CSMT, reviews infra projects

Goyal reviewed the ongoing work by the Army on extending the FOB at Currey Road and other infrastructure projects

mumbai Updated: Nov 27, 2017 23:59 IST
Mumbai,Piyush Goyal,railway minister
Piyush Goyal reached Elphinstone Road station around 4pm.(Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)

Union railway minister Piyush Goyal’s surprise visit to the city on Monday was an action-packed one. While on the one hand, the minister surveyed the progress of work on passenger infrastructure, including two foot overbridges (FOBs) being built by the railways and Indian Army at Elphinstone Road, on the other, he went on his first suburban train journey from Parel to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT).

Goyal reviewed the ongoing work by the Army on extending the FOB at Currey Road and other infrastructure projects.

After a visit to the CSMT heritage building, which houses central railway headquarters, Goyal floated the idea of revamping the building and transforming it into a world-class transport museum. He also directed railway officials to launch the first air-conditioned local for Mumbai on December 25. Earlier, it was to be launched on January 1, 2018.

Goyal reached Elphinstone Road station around 4pm. “The [Army’s] work is progressing quickly. The bridge will be ready before the January 31 deadline. Once the work is completed, engineers from 17 railway zones will visit and inspect it to see how the work can be done at such a pace,” said Goyal.

The minister has asked railway officials to explore the possibility of construction of a skywalk up to Tulsi pipe road for easy entry and exit to the stations.

Railway officials said the Commissioner Railway Safety (CRS) has given approval for the FOBs by Army at Currey Road and Ambivli, and the construction will begin soon. The Currey Road FOB needs land acquisition, which will be done with the help of BMC soon.

The Army officials said pile work of the FOB at Elphinstone Road will begin from Tuesday, while the construction will start from December 5. The Army has asked the railway officials for blocks ranging from 2 to 24 hours. “One platoon consisting of 50 Armymeṅ will be involved in the construction of each FOB. The blocks are being finalized,” said an Army official who did not wish to be named.

During his train journey, Goyal interacted with commuters, who praised the government’s efforts, and promised 3,000 CCTV and 360 escalators for suburban stations.

Girish Dave, a commuter from Sion, said, “The railways are doing a commendable job.” Another commuter Ashish Narshana said Masjid railway station needs work. “The platform is narrow and there is no place to move.”

In response, Goyal said, the infrastructure is 150 years old. “The population has increased over the years. This city is mine. We are working on making it better,” the minister said.

This was Goyal’s second visit to Elphinstone Road after the stampede that killed 23 passengers on September 29.

First Published: Nov 27, 2017 23:52 IST