Railway officials fume as BMC, MMRDA stay away from meeting

मुम्‍बई Mumbai: The absence of senior BMC and MMRDA officials at a meeting between the state chief secretary and the railway board chairman, Arunendra Kumar, on Wednesday to discuss pending projects that require coordination among the various agencies has upset railway officials.

Kumar was on a two-day visit to the city. “The state should have ensured the presence of senior BMC and MMRDA officials. How are we to find solutions on issues, such as the construction of road overbridges, hawker menace and improvement of station area without these agencies’ help,” asked a senior railway official. But an MMRDA official said, “We were not informed about the meeting or the agenda. Hence, we didn’t send our representatives.”

If MMRDA officials would have attended the meeting, a road map for pending key projects, including the Airoli-Kalwa Link and Karjat-Panvel Link for which state cabinet has given in principle approval, could have been prepared, said the official. “There are many projects where zonal railways do not have the power to take a decision. MMRDA officials could have used this chance to pinpoint the increased cost in the laying of the fifth and sixth line on Central Railway and the sixth line on Western Railway. There are also issues related to the delay in the power system conversion from DC to AC. MMRDA could have questioned the CR officials in the presence of the railway board chairman,” said the official.

While the MMRDA is crucial in executing several railway projects, especially the rehabilitation of project-affected persons and work undertaken under Mumbai Urban Transport Project-II, lack of urgency on the part of the BMC in building a road overbridge in lieu of level crossing gate has delayed work on the Oshiwara station. The BMC also plans to build a ROB on Vidyavihar station for which it needs CR’s help.