The Railway Budget on Thursday received a mixed response from Mumbai’s commuters and political parties as no big ticket announcements were made, but the impetus to the third phase of Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) stuck since 2011, absence of hike in passenger fares, security cameras for safety of women were some measures welcomed.
“Though no new trains have been announced for Mumbai or Maharashtra, not increasing passenger fares and those of seasonal passes is a welcome move. The introduction of airconditioned local trains will make the daily commute better and reduce accidents as doors will have to be closed,” said Harshavardhan Patil, a government employee who commutes from Thane to CST.
“Passenger fares have not been increased. Soon after the Narendra Modi came to power, there was a sharp increase in fares for seasonal passes. That was not repeated. There is greater thrust on safety and customer service,” said Kalyani Kale, a travel agency executive, who travels on the Western Railway.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu briefly mentioned in his speech that the stalled MUTP III project would be speeded up, but he did not mention specifics. The third phase of MUTP envisages additional tracks for 517 km which could operate 266 trains at a cost of Rs. 52,000 crore. This includes 76 km of new suburban corridor linking Vasai-Virar on Western Railway to Diva-Panvel on Central Railway which could enable commuters in far western suburbs to travel to Navi Mumbai. More info