Maharashtra wants centre to fund suburban elevated rail corridor

Mumbai, May 3 (IANS) The Maharashtra government Friday sought central funding for its mega-infrastructure project – the Mumbai Elevated Rail Corridor Project, which is aimed to revolutionise suburban commuting in the city, official sources said here.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan met Railway Minister P.K. Bansal, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman M.S. Ahluwalia and other officials in New Delhi and discussed the project details.

“The state government is of the view that the centre – the railway ministry and Planning Commission – should allocate funds for this mega-project,” said a senior official, requesting anonymity.

Considered a pet project of Chavan, the 63-km-long Churchgate-Virar elevated railway, is expected to cost around Rs.21,000 crore and will serve the commuter needs of the western suburbs.

Besides, another study will be carried out for a similar 55-km long CST-Kalyan elevated rail corridor to meet the needs of the eastern suburbs.

Premium airconditioned and luxury suburban trains are proposed to be operated on both these corridors which will help decongest the existing suburban railway network by more than 50 percent.

A few years ago, the Indian Railways had given a green signal for the Churchgate-Virar elevated rail corridor in view of the inhuman conditions of travel by over seven million daily commuters.

A combined total over 2,000 daily suburban services are operated on the Western Railway and Central Railway, serving Mumbai and neighbouring Thane and Raigad districts for people commuting to and fro the country’s commercial capital.

Chavan was accompanied by Chief Secretary J.K. Banthia, Mumbai Municipal Commissioner S. Kunte and other senior officials from various departments at Friday’s meeting in the national capital.

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