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  Metros   Mumbai  20 Dec 2017  Piyush Goyal scraps elevated corridor

Piyush Goyal scraps elevated corridor

THE ASIAN AGE. | UMAKANT DESHPANDE
Published : Dec 20, 2017, 1:42 am IST
Updated : Dec 20, 2017, 1:42 am IST

Minister cites financial viability even as state pushes for costly bullet train.

Activists and opposition parties are questioning the government’s decision to scrap the project.
 Activists and opposition parties are questioning the government’s decision to scrap the project.

Mumbai: Union railway minister Piyush Goyal has scrapped the elevated rail corridor project between Churchgate and Virar citing financial viabilities. Interestingly, while the estimated cost of the project is Rs 20,000 crore, the government is implementing the bullet train project at a cost of  Rs 1.10 lakh crore. Activists and opposition parties are questioning the government’s decision to scrap the project, which would have made commuting easier for lakhs of Mumbaikars, even while it is desperately pushing through the bullet train project, which will cost more but serve fewer people.

The elevated corridor projects between CST-Panvel and Churchgate-to-Virar have been under consideration for a decade so as to reduce pressure on Central and Western Railways. But after an initial survey, the proposal of the western corridor was put off due to it being financially unviable. Both the projects will cost Rs 35,000 crore. While metro lines of stage 2 and 7 are going along, railway authorities fear it may create a dent in footfall of passengers.

These projects had been announced by the then railway minister Suresh Prabhu, union minister Nitin Gadkari and CM Devendra Fadnavis in the budget speeches, sessions of legislatures and during the BMC elections. But now one of these corridors may be put on the backburner, sources told The Asian Age.

“The state government is a 50 per cent stake holder in these projects with Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC). So how can the railway take this decision unilaterally,” asked Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant.

“Why was the financial viability criteria not applied for the bullet train project, which will be benefiting a few thousands passengers mostly from Gujarat. On the other hand, lakhs of Mumbaikars would be relieved by the elevated corridor project,”

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut told this paper. “Why does railways want to spend lakh crore rupees for Gujarat and not few thousand crores for lakh of Mumbaikars?” Mr Raut asked.

Tags: piyush goyal, bullet train, rail corridor