Underground rail for Mumbai-Thane
After work started on 275 km of Metro lines, the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation has proposed a 33.8 km-underground railway corridor between CSMT in south Mumbai to Thane. Air conditioned trains will bring down commute time from 45 minutes to 21 minutes. If it gets nod, the corridor, estimated to cost over C17,000 crore, can be a part of Mumbai Urban Transport Project-4 and will be implemented by 2026. The Centre gave a nod to MUTP-3 earlier this year. The Maharashtra government wants MUTP-4 to be cleared before the election in October.
Jolt to coastal road project
The ambitious C14,000 cr coastal road project initiated by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) received a jolt last week when the Bombay High Court cancelled all the permissions granted to the project and halted work. The court observed that the detailed scientific environment impact assessment studies were not conducted before seeking clearance from environment, forest and maritime departments. It rejected BMC’s plea that the road is an internal road, stating that the studies were very much required since the road passes through an ecologically delicate coastal regulatory zone. Though the BMC has moved the Supreme Court against the decision, experts have reservations over the move.
Biometrics to make rail journey easy
Boosted by the results of a pilot project in Mumbai, the railway plans to use biometric technology for passengers who want to travel long distance on unreserved coaches. Such passengers often spend hours as seats on unreserved coaches are not guaranteed.
To avoid such hassle, the railway introduced biometric registration for the Mumbai-Lucknow Pushpak Express. Passengers were given numbers after registering their finger prints and, accordingly, allotted seats when the train arrived at the station. This reduced unnecessary crowding and checked illegal reservations done by rail employees.
BEST opens depots for parking
With the rise in number of buses, the BEST administration has slashed rates for parking of private vehicles at its 27 depots spread across the city. The motive is to decongest Mumbai, which has seen a hefty rise in fine for illegal parking in specified areas. The move will immediately add 3,500 parking slots during the day and 325 during night. But it is only be a partial remedy as the city has over 14,000 private buses that are parked on roads. There are 120 private vehicles for every public parking slot in Mumbai. Though the numbers are small, the effort to reclaim Mumbai roads has truly begun.