Mumbai's rail infrastructure development top on February 1 budget agenda
Sources said crores to be invested to revamp stations and convert existing fleet to AC
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal during a recent visit to the city. FILE PIC
With Mumbai's poor railway infrastructure being exposed in the aftermath of the Elphinstone stampede that killed 23, sources said that the Railway Budget, to be announced on Thursday, is likely to see the city's suburban network get a big bonanza that would lead to a complete overhaul of its stations. Sources said that the suburban railways of Mumbai and Bengaluru would witness one of the biggest investments of up to R50,000 crore this year and a self-financing model on a public-private investment basis. Plans for the same are being discussed at the cabinet-level for approvals.
During a recent visit to the city, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had said that this year's budget would be historic and that the Mumbai suburban railway would be revamped in the next five years. As per plans, existing stations will be developed on the lines of airports, and new elevated rail corridors, including one between Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Panvel, will be constructed.
The Railways is also planning to introduce 210 air-conditioned suburban local trains and convert the existing fleet into closed-door, cool trains at the cost of R16,3809 crore. Other proposals include an upgraded signalling system for suburban trains in order to increase the frequency of existing trains. A suburban corridor between Panvel and Virar and expansion of rail lines on the Kalyan-Asangaon and Kalyan-Badlapur routes, are also part of the plan.
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