Work on projects along the suburban railway section of the city must be prioritised, Union railway minister Suresh Prabhu has said.
Prabhu held a high-level meeting with railway officials, representatives from the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) and the state government in the city on Wednesday.
The minister asked officials to focus on completing projects that require minimal land acquisition.
Prabhu looked at the status of each plan in detail, railway officials said.
“The meeting was held mainly to discuss land acquisition issues and to request the state government to expedite clearances. Prabhu also asked us to come up with solutions involving minimal land acquisition issues for the progress of projects,” said a senior railway official who attended the meeting.
The meeting comes after four main projects — construction of the 5th and 6th line between Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and Kurla, 6th line between Mumbai Central and Borivli, extension of the harbour line from Andheri to Goregaon and work on the 5th and 6th lines between Thane and Diva — exceeded anticipated expenditure by at least Rs 1,000 crore in the past few years.
These projects were sanctioned under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) Phase-II and were slated for completion in March 2015.
“Prabhu looked at the progress on major projects, including Seawoods-Uran Line, Ahmednagar-Beed-Parli line and asked for speedy completion. The Wardha-Nanded project was also discussed,” said Narendra Patil, Chief Public Relations officer,Central Railway,
Officials said Prabhu suggested gave suggestions on better commercial exploitation of some projects.
“While talking about the upcoming Parel Terminus project, he asked us to look into its operational aspect. This would involve starting more trains from Parel. He also asked MRVC officials as to how more passenger amenities could be developed at the station and about its additional commercial exploitation,” Patil added.
Prabhu also asked about the progress on the elevated railway corridor project between CST and Panvel.
“Prabhu asked officials to be careful about taking it underground, as that could involve issues. He asked whether going sub-terrain could be difficult for the overall development of the work and asked for updates on land clearances for it,” said Mukul Jain, Divisional Railway Manager, Western Railway.