Economic meltdown: Wary US audits Mumbai projects

As economists predict a second recession, credit-crunched America wants to ensure every dime is spent judiciously

The United States, which is dangerously close to double-dipping into recession, is leaving no stone unturned to review its financial decisions and ensure that its money is wisely spent.

On September 30, members of the US treasury along with World Bank officials met authorities from the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC), which is implementing the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP).

As per MRVC sources, the visit was to evaluate the work that has been completed under the Rs 4,500 crore MUTP-I, and the ongoing work under the Rs 5,300 crore MUTP-II.

"This was a bilateral meeting between the Maharashtra government and US government. Our officials were present since we are funding the MUTP projects," said a World Bank spokesperson.

The Unites States is a major fund contributor to the World Bank, which then disburses loans to countries for developmental projects. If sources are to be believed, the US provides almost 15 per cent of the total funds that the Washington-based World Bank receives every year.

The Rs 3,500 crore loan in question is being used to introduce 129 new trains under MUTP-I and 72 trains under MUTP-II. Two additional railway lines are being added under the project and power is being converted from 1,500-volt DC to 25,000-volt AC. The significant link roads connecting Jogeshwari-Vikhroli and Santacruz-Chembur are also a part of this project.

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