Maharashtra got more than expected in Rail Budget: Officials

MUMBAI: Railway authorities in the city said there is nothing special for Mumbai in the Rail Budget except a green signal for two major elevated corridors in the ‘pink book’, which details project funding. Officials said they were shocked to see a mere ₹10 lakh being allocated for elevated corridors connecting CST to Panvel and Bandra to Virar, but soon realised that this is the token amount for the projects.

Though the 72-km Vasai-Virar-Panvel Corridor (initial cost of ₹8,787 crore) and the 55-km CST-Panvel Fast Elevated Corridor (initial cost of ₹14,525 crore) were announced nearly three years ago, work has been sanctioned in the current budget. “This means we don’t have to wait for another budget to begin our work. We can at least start work, and the process of permissions and other paperwork takes time. We will be sending this to the Union government for approval,” a senior railway official said.

The pink book, which was released three days after the Union Budget was tabled in Parliament, shows that Maharashtra has been sanctioned more funds than was expected, totalling ₹28,000 crore. It covers six new lines and a 64-km corridor between Pune and Lonavala (initial cost of ₹4,253 crore). The Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) III has been allocated ₹411 crore.

Prabhat Sahai, Managing director, Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation, said, “The allocation of ₹10 lakh is the token amount sanctioned to begin work. In case we require more funds in the current year, we will surely get another sanction. We have completed surveys and finally, we can start work.”

The other three major new line projects are Jeur-Ashti (78 km, ₹1560 crore), Phaltan-Pandharpur (105 km, ₹1,149 crore) and Hatkanangale-Ichalkaranji (8 km, ₹160 crore).