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MUTP-2 misses targets: Railway authorities blame rise in demand

Officials handling the projects said the increase in commuters more than expected as people shifted from roads to trains owing to the congestion.

mumbai Updated: Feb 12, 2018 23:27 IST
Kailash Korde
Kailash Korde
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,MUTP-2,railways
Officials handling the projects said the increase in commuters more than expected as people shifted from roads to trains owing to the congestion.(FILE)

The rise in demand for local suburban trains is why the authorities failed to reduce overcrowding, a target set under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP-2), according to the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation, the planning and executing body for railway projects in Mumbai.

Officials handling the projects said the increase in commuters more than expected as people shifted from roads to trains owing to the congestion.

The MUTP-2, originally estimated to cost Rs5,400 crore was undertaken to segregate suburban and long-distance train traffic, improve carrying capacity of suburban locals by extending all nine-coach trains to 12 coaches, conversion to alternate current from direct current, reducing energy consumption and journey time. The cost of the project has now escalated to Rs8,087 crore.

MUTP-2 was expected to give relief to more than 75 lakh suburban commuters from super dense crush load -- in which at least 16 people travel on a sqm, by bringing down the number of passengers traveling on a suburban locals to 4,000 on all three lines from the range of 4,200-5,400.

The World Bank report says the target was achieved on the harbor line, but not on the CR’s main and WR. On the Harbour line, the overcrowding was came down to 3,924 passengers a train, however, the number remained 5,257 and 4,340 on the WR and CR main line, respectively.

RS Khurana, chairman and managing director of MRVC said that they have added more than 35% capacity each under first and second phase of MUTP, but the travel demand busted the targets. “The capacity has been increased but the demand also went up,” said Khurana.

“Many passengers have shifted to suburban locals, as congestion on roads has gone up because of metro works and other reasons,” said another MRVC officials.

The financing agency report also states that MUTP-2 has also missed target about travelling time and punctuality. According to the report, the travelling time has remain unchanged on all these sections, except Churchgate-Borivali section, on which it came down by just a minute from targeted three minutes.

The MUTP-2 also aimed to improve punctuality of suburban locals, but the World Bank report suggests it further worsened to 96.67 percent and 84.3 percent on WR and CR, respectively. It was targeted to improve to 98.05% from 98.02% in 2009 on WR; and to 94% from 93.2% on CR.

The report suggests MUTP-2 partially achieved the target of running 18 trains on all three lines.

Former managing director of MRVC PC Sehgal said targets related to travelling time and punctuality were missed mainly because old locals that are slower still ply on the network. “Expected results cannot be achieved if donkeys and horse run at the same speed. How can the desired result be achieved if old trains have a speed of 80kmph and new with 100 kmph going run on same tracks,” asked Sehgal.

Under the WB component until 2016, 72 new trains were added to the existing network. The adding of two more lines between Diva and Thane, Kurla and CST and six lines between Borivili and Mumbai Central is still underway. The extension of harbor line till Goregaon is near completion.

First Published: Feb 12, 2018 23:27 IST