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Union Railway minister Suresh Prabhu orders officials to put city projects on fast-track

Mumbai railway officials met state officials after union minister Suresh Prabhu told them to stop lazing around and have a dialogue to fast-track city projects. This comes at a time when tenders for different works for the Mumbai Urban Transport Project III and both elevated corridors are to be floated.

Officials of central and western railway (CR and WR) and Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) met with state officials for projects for Maharashtra and Mumbai, with the latter having just MUTP III as major relief in terms of decongesting the railway from the 72 lakh commuters it sees every day. Among the projects discussed were MUTP III amounting to nearly Rs 11,000 crore; quadrupling of the Virar-Dahanu Road; the new railway line from Panvel to Karjat; link between Airoli and Kalwa; and purchase of 47 new trains.

An official present at the meeting said, “Union minister Mr Prabhu conducted a meeting at Bandra almost six months ago but officials from both railways and the state did not take it forward for some reason. The minister then asked CM Devendra Fadnavis whether any progress had been made on issues where both bodies needed to work together. Mr Prabhu realised that nothing serious had been done following which directives were sent to railway officials to take some initiative and call a meeting.”

The meeting was necessary from the point of view of procurement of land from state-run bodies for timely completion of projects such as CST-Panvel and the Bandra-Virar elevated corridor.

WR chief public relations officer Ravindra Bhaskar said, “The meeting was routine and took place as a result of the fact that union minister Mr Prabhu will be in town on April 18. The meeting was held for clearing doubts and some procedures that need presence of both the state and railways.”

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