Feb 4, 2017

Railway Budget boost for CR's mega projects

However, two Mumbai-based projects have received a token amount of Rs 10 lakh crore
The Union Budget, which included railway finances for the first time, has brought good tidings for the Central Railway. A few of its important projects have been given substantial funds, which officials said would go a long way in completing them over the next three to five years. However, two Mumbai-based projects have received a token amount of Rs 10 lakh crore. These include the Rs 9,356-crore Virar-Vasai-Panvel new suburban corridor and the elevated CST-Panvel corridor, which at current prices is expected to cost upwards of Rs 14,500 crore.

The Ahmedanagr-Beed-Parli new corridor project has received the biggest allotment — Rs 780 crore. The sanctioned amount works out to about 27 per cent of the total cost of the project, which stands at Rs 2,826 crore. The line is a pet project of the BJP, and is a 50-50 per cent joint venture of the railways and the state government. Both the state government and the railway ministry have pinned high hopes on the project as the BJP's trump card in Marathwada and Western Maharashtra, the two regions the rail line will connect. The state and Centre want the Ahmednagar-Beed line to be completed by March 2019 so that it can showcase it for the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in 2019.

The 270-km Wardha-Nanded project has received Rs 738 crore, while the 112-km Karad-Chiplun line has received Rs 301 crore.

The Karad-Chiplun line was a longstanding demand of citizens to have a link between the Central Railway and Konkan Railway in such a way that it connects cities like Pune and Kolhapur to the Konkan line. The new project, expected to cost upwards of Rs 2,500 crore at current prices, will involve the construction of a 103-km railway line from Chiplun on the Konkan Railway and Karad on the Pune-Kolhapur section of the Central Railway. That part of the railway line will run along the Koyna river. - DNA India