Home >Industry >World Bank to extend funds to improve sub-urban train services

Mumbai: Continuing its support to improve the railway infrastructure in the megapolis, the World Bank on Tuesday said it will continue to invest not only in improving the frequencies but also give priority to enhancing security and safety apart from sanitation facilities.

“We have a long tradition of partnering with the Railways and we have been investing in hard infrastructure. But now we also plan to invest in improving basic sanitation facilities on stations, and improve safety and security, increasing the frequency of services," World Bank managing director and chief operating officer Sri Mulyani Indrawati told reporters in Mumbai.

Indrawati, who took a local train to the north-western suburb of Andheri from the Churchgate station, spoke to female commuters en route to understand their woes during commutation. “I was told by women commuters that there is too much rush during peak hours and there are no toilets for women at the stations. We will continue to invest in providing such facilities. The World Bank is committed to provide assistance in every important aspect of public transportation," she said.

Indrawati further said that the Narendra Modi government has given priority to develop railway infrastructure and the World Bank will continue to support the initiative. The three local lines -- the Western, Central and Harbour lines -- together carry more than 10 million passengers a day, making the lifeline of the commercial capital that is home to close to 19 million people (in the island city alone) while the number of people in the Mumbai metropolitan region is well over 30 million.

The state government has undertaken an ambitious Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP), which intends to improve the road and rail transportation network in the Mumbai metropolitan region and is being implemented with World Bank assistance and central and state government contributions. Launched in 2007, the Rs4,526-crore MUTP 1 was completed in 2011 with a series of implemented projects.

The Rs7,006-crore MUTP 2 is under implementation. The MUTP 3, estimated to cost Rs52,000 crore, was sanctioned in 2011 and is targeted for completion in 2031 with various mega projects. Under MUTP 1 and 2, a series of projects were initiated, including additional railway lines, new high-speed coaches and rakes, capacity enhancing, road over-bridges and foot over-bridges, improving railway stations with better access-exit points, spreading the sub-urban rail network to new satellite towns and cities in the metropolis.

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