THE UNION Ministry of Finance is soon likely to approve a loan for railway works under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) III. The suburban railway planning body — Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) — has sought a loan of Rs 2,800 crore for the same.
Projects under MUTP-III, being executed at an estimated cost of Rs 10,085 crore, include quadrupling of the Virar-Dahanu corridor, Panvel-Karjat suburban corridor and Airoli-Kalwa Link as well as mid-section trespass control measures. Most projects are expected to offer better connectivity in the western and central suburbs of Mumbai.
The MRVC is expected to receive funds for the projects in three ways – bank loans, lease of funds from the Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) as well as funds from the state government and Railways.
Senior MRVC officials said that apart from the loan of Rs 2,800 crore, the IRFC will provide up to Rs 3,300 crore, while the government and Railways fund up to Rs 2,800 crore and Rs 2,000 crore, respectively. “The Ministry of Finance is reviewing the loan sanctioning for MUTP- III projects. We are hopeful that it should be cleared soon,” said MRVC spokesperson Sanjay Singh.
The Ministry of Finance is likely to approach the New Development Bank, established by the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries for the funds. “The IRFC has a better ranking in the loan market. However, we will be expected to pay back the loan at a higher interest rate when compared to other banks,” said a MRVC official.
Officials said that tenders for earthwork and bridge related work for quadapuling of the Virar-Dahanu railway corridor will be floated soon.
In August, The Indian Express had reported that MRVC is mulling over asking other banks and financial institutions, apart from the World Bank, to fund railway projects under the MUTP- III. This, after the World Bank had cited problems with “institutional arrangment” of the railway projects. Officials said that the World Bank is yet to communicate its stand on the projects.
The MRVC had taken a loan of Rs 1,602 crore for MUTP-I and Rs 1,750 crore for MUTP-II from the World Bank. The loans had been repaid.
Meanwhile, the Railway Board has given in-principle approval to the Detailed Project Report of MUTP- III A, estimated at Rs 54,000 crore. Senior MRVC officials said that the formal approval may come this week.