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Budget for planned rail lines slashed

The slow pace of phase III of the ongoing Mumbai Urban Transport Project has led railway officials to cut the proposed budget from Rs 50,000 crore to Rs 15,000 crore, and put the construction of some suburban routes on hold 

The city's planners are planning to slash the budget for Phase III of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) from a proposed Rs 50,000 crore to Rs 15,000 crore, by temporarily putting on hold some of the planned rail routes.


Off the track: Some of the projects under MUTP-III include the extension
of the Harbour line on Goregaon-Borivli stretch, fifth and sixth railway
lines between Borivli and Virar, third and fourth lines between Dahanu
and Virar, and provision of the fast corridor on Harbour line. FILE PIC


For phase III of the MUTP, railway authorities had originally proposed many new suburban railway routes, which would connect Mumbai with the regions of Bhiwandi, Alibaug and Uran. However, taking note of the snail's pace at which the ongoing projects are being implemented, the Central Railway Ministry wants to curtail the elaborate plans, deferring the construction of some of the routes.

Authorities are yet to identify the routes that will be eliminated. Initially, the cost of Phase III of the MUTP was tagged at Rs 50,000 crore. But dissatisfied with the rate of progress, railway officials now want to take a rain check on some of the proposed routes.

"We want to present projects that would be more financially viable and necessary in the near future. So we are looking at prioritising some routes over others, as per the needs of the city and its neighbouring regions," said a senior railway official.

"These projects could be picked up again later, under the MUTP. The exact outline of the new routes hasn't been chalked out yet," said a senior official.

Some of the projects under MUTP-III include the extension to the Harbour line on Goregaon-Borivli stretch, fifth and sixth railway lines between Borivli and Virar, third and fourth lines between Dahanu and Virar, and provision of the fast corridor on Harbour line. In addition to this, corridors have been proposed between Thane-Bhiwandi, Panvel-Uran, Kharkopar-Jite, Panvel-Karjat, Panvel-Jite-Thal and Thal-Alibaug.

The longest of these proposed routes is the Panvel-Jite-Thal stretch, which, if not deferred, will run along at least 60-odd kilometres, equivalent in length to the Churchgate-Virar route. The shortest route is the Thal-Alibaug line that spans 5.4 km.

The Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has also proposed the inclusion of the Panvel-Karjat and Panvel-Uran corridors, to be brought under the third phase of the MUTP.

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