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MRVC, AIIB sign agreement for new rail project

by BQ News Bureau
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The Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) signed a loan agreement for a $500 million Mumbai Urban Transport Project-III to improve the network capacity, service quality and safety of the suburban railway system in Mumbai.

The project is expected to increase network capacity in the region with the reduction in journey time and fatal accidents of commuters. It is estimated that 22 per cent are female passengers who will benefit from improved safety and quality of service.

This project will assist in improved mobility, service quality and safety of passengers of the suburban railway system of Mumbai, by providing faster, more reliable and higher quality transport services compared to road-based transport. There will be direct safety benefits to passengers and the public through the introduction of trespass control measures.

Around 86 per cent of Mumbai commuters rely on public transport. However, supply has not kept pace with rising travel demand. The Mumbai suburban railway network, which carries three-quarters of all motorised travel (78 per cent of passenger-km or eight million passengers per day) is increasing at three per cent annually. User experience is further compromised by the low amenity of carriages, substandard stations and station access, and serious safety concerns.

AIIB Vice-President D. J. Pandian said the Mumbai Urban Transport Project-III will help in reducing carbon emissions by shifting passengers away from higher-carbon road transport towards efficient and convenient rail-based mobility.

The total estimated cost of the project is $997 million, of which $500 million will be financed by the AIIB, $310 million by the Government of Maharashtra and $187 million by Ministry of Railways. The $500 million loan from the AIIB has a 5-year grace period and a maturity of 30 years.


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