Suburban railway system; another bonanza from the Railway Minister Piyush Goyal to Mumbai

The Railway Ministry headed by Piyush Goyal has arranged funding to the tune of 700 Million US dollars including five hundred million US Dollars from Asian Infra bank to tone up the Mumbai suburban railway system. The railways have also sanctioned substantial funds from its budget on a priority basis to improve the lot of the Mumbai suburban railway system. Railways will be funding 187 million US dollars.

The Government of India, the Government of Maharashtra, Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) have signed a loan agreement for a 500 million US dollars Mumbai Urban Transport Project-III to improve the network capacity, service quality and safety of the suburban railway system in Mumbai.

The Project to increase network capacity in the region

The Project is expected to increase network capacity in the region with the reduction in journey time and fatal accidents of commuters. It is estimated that among primary beneficiaries of the project, 22 per cent are female passengers who will benefit from improved safety and quality of service.

The loan agreement was signed by Mr Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Government of India, Mr Sanjay Kumar, Chief Secretary on behalf of the Government of Maharashtra, Mr R. S. Khurana, Chief Managing Director on behalf of the Mumbai Rail Vikas Nigam and Mr Rajat Misra, Director General (Acting), Investment Operations on behalf of the AIIB.

Mumbai suburban railway network suffers from some of the most severe overcrowding in the world

Around 86 per cent of Mumbai commuters rely on public transport. However, supply has not kept pace with rising travel demand. The Mumbai suburban railway network, which carries three quarters of all motorized travel ( eight million passengers per day) increasing at three per cent annually, suffers from some of the most severe overcrowding in the world.

AIIB Vice President D.J. Pandian said in line with our Transport Sector Strategy, the Mumbai Urban Transport Project-III will also help in reducing carbon emissions by shifting passengers away from higher-carbon road transport towards efficient and convenient rail-based mobility. In addition, female passengers will benefit from improved safety and quality of service.

Financing the project 

The total estimated cost of the project is 997 million US dollars, of which 500 million US dollars will be financed by the AIIB, 310 million US Dollars by the Government of Maharashtra and 187 million US Dollars by Ministry of Railways. The 500 million US Dollars loan from the AIIB has a 5-year grace period and a maturity of 30 years.

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