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Representational image

In all, seven new lines have been sanctioned in the Budget for Maharashtra

Mumbai: The Centre has sanctioned construction of at least 7 new railway lines in Maharashtra, including the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)-Panvel fast elevated corridor, collectively worth Rs 31,196 crore.

These seven new lines – 3,123 kms long – and several other projects have been sanctioned by the government in the Union Budget 2017-18 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. This year, Railway budget was incorporated in the general budget after a gap of over 90 years.

According to officials, Maharashtra has got budgetary allocations to the tune of Rs 5,958 crore for upcoming fiscal years, which is 408 per cent higher than the average allocation of last five years. Railway officials welcomed the budget saying the allocations made forthe new projects were “unprecedented” and “more than expected”.

Out of seven new lines, four big ticket projects are: Fast Elevated Corridor between CST to Panvel (55-km with initial cost of Rs 14,525 crore), Vasai-Virar-Panvel Corridor (72-km new suburban corridor with initial cost of Rs 8,787 crore),

and 3rd and 4th suburban lines between Pune and Lonavala (64-km with initial project cost of Rs 4,253 crore) and Bandra-Virar Elevated Rail Corridor (Phase I) (42-km with initial cost of Rs 762 crore).

The other three new railway lines are: Jeur-Ashti (78 km, Rs 1,560 crore), Phaltan-Pandharpur (105 km, Rs 1,149 crore) and Hatkanangale-Ichalkaranji (8 km, Rs 160 crore).

Besides, four railway electrification projects of in different sections of the state, have also been sanctioned. In addition to this, Rs 148 crore for traffic facility works, Rs 636 crore for Metropolitan Transport Planning have been allocated for the suburban section of Mumbai.

Survey for 13 new railway lines has been proposed with the initial allotment of Rs 6.68 crore. Thirty new ROBs (road over bridges) and 23 RUBs (road under bridges) are also planned to be constructed with a total cost of Rs 691.38 crore, in which Railways would bear Rs 331.91 crore, while the rest would be borne by the state government.

Shakuntala Railway, a narrow gauge railway line operated by private owners in , has also been allotted Rs 22 crore for its upgradation and conversion into broad gauge.

A senior Central Railway (CR) official told PTI on the condition of anonymity, “In terms of monetary allocations, this year’s budget is unprecedented. This will eventually transform the mass transportation scenario of the state and Mumbai, especially in the view of different projects of Metro rail being executed.”

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