In his review meeting with the Central Railway, Western Railway and Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) Monday, Chairman Railway Board, Ashwani Lohani suggested including Cover over Platforms (CoP) and increasing height of platforms on suburban railway stations in the Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK), which would ensure quick allocation of funds. He has also asked railway officials to expedite work on suburban railway projects.
Speaking at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), Lohani called the proposed bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad as “extremely essential” for the country. “The advent of bullet train is extremely essential for our country as it will unleash technology-driven transportation. By running a bullet train, we wanted to commission a medium of rapid transport which can run at par with air travel as far as speed is concerned.”
RRSK is a fund created in 2017-18 with a corpus of Rs1 lakh crore for important safety related works. An official who attended the review meeting said, “Lohani suggested increasing the height of platforms to the footboard level of trains and building Cover over Platforms at each station under RSSK. It is presently classified under passenger amenities. Getting it under RRSK will ensure quick fund allocation for the projects.”
Last year, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal made foot overbridges a ‘safety’ item, which allows no budget restrictions for its construction. While the platform height on every station on the Western Railway has been increased, platforms at some stations on the Central Railway remain to be raised.
Lohani inaugurated certain passenger amenities at CSMT, including a signboard that guides passengers around the station, child helpline centres and a new Electrical Multiple Unit (EMU) with additional amenities. He also reviewed projects under Mumbai Urban Transport Project I, II and III and III A.
Lohani also reviewed construction of important railway projects including introduction of the fifth and sixth lines between Thane and Diva stations, and additional lines between Kurla and CSMT. Sanjay Singh, spokesperson of MRVC, said, “Lohani has asked to expedite the projects. He has asked us to finish the Thane-Diva project by March 2019. He has ensured the required support for its quick completion.”
Lohani said that the Board is working on increasing the speed of passenger and goods trains. “To ensure there is increase in speed of passenger trains, we are creating the required boundary walls and developing the infrastructure. The process is on.” Lohani also inaugurated a mobile charging point at CSMT station on Monday. Mobile charging points will be made available at Dadar and Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) as well.