Mumbai: The Rs5,000 crore Phase II Mumbai Urban Transport Project that proposes to widen suburban rail network has hit a roadblock with Railway Ministry not agreeing with Maharashtra government’s proposal to levy Re1 surcharge on suburban rail tickets to raise funds.
The Re1 surcharge per stage would enable the state government garner as much as Rs 3,000 crore, equivalent to 60 per cent of the cost, but the Railway Ministry is against the proposal as this would go against the uniform fare policy for suburban traffic in the entire country.
“We believe that people would not mind paying an extra Re1 when they would get benefits because of MUTP Phase 2,” Maharashtra Special Projects Secretary Sanjay G Ubale told PTI.
Also, there was nothing wrong in separating Mumbai from rest of the country as far as fare structure for suburban rail traffic as Re1 additional charge was affordable in a city like Mumbai unlike elsewhere in the country, he said.
As per the memorandum of understanding signed between the Maharashtra government and Railway ministry, one-third income would come from commercial development of railway land.
The Maharashtra government, therefore, expects to earn revenue of Rs700 crore from commercial development of railway land in Bandra (East) to bring down the cost of MUTP Phase II.
The balance would be Rs1,300 crore, which could be split between the Maharashtra government and Railway ministry at Rs650 crore each respectively, Ubale said.
MUTP Phase II would help in segregating suburban train operations from mainline passenger and freight services. It would bring down the passengers per nine-coach train to 3,000 from 5,000 now.
As part of the MUTP Phase 1 and 2 in the Western Railway, Borivali-Virar lines would be quadrupled; a fifth line between Mahim-Santacruz; sixth line between Mumbai Central-Borivali; EMU services between Virar-Dahanu and extension of Harbour line to Goregaon are planned.
As part of MUTP Phase 1 & 2 in Central Railway, fifth and sixth lines between Thane-Diwa, Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus-Kurla and Kurla-Thane are being planned.
By 2009, 156 additional trains would join the existing 210 trains, Ubale said. About 50-60 trains would be discarded because they would become absolete, he said.
At present about 1,700 passengers travel in a train at “peak time”. After the arrival of new rakes, they can carry upto 5,000 persons during peak time, Ubale said.