Washington: The World Bank has sanctioned $430 million for the improvement of Mumbai's suburban railway system, dubbed the lifeline of a megacity with a population of nearly 15 million. The Bank's Board on Tuesday also approved $350 million to finance the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) set up to improve the safety and sustainable performance of over 220 selected dams in Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, and Tamil Nadu.
The Mumbai Urban Transport Project 2A aims to add more vehicle capacity during peak hours, reduce peak hour overcrowding, shorten journey times and improve operational efficiency, the Bank said. The project will add as many as 720 train cars to the existing system.
The project will also expand maintenance facilities, provide additional stabling lines, and complete the conversion from 1500V DC to 25KV AC traction of the remaining sections of Central Railway in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.
"The first Mumbai Urban Transport Project has already managed to reduce the level of crowding in suburban trains from 4,500 to 4100 passengers per 9-coach train at peak hours in spite of traffic increase," said Hubert Nove-Josserand, World Bank senior urban transport specialist and project team leader.
"This follow up project will further improve the capacity, operational efficiency, level of comfort and strengthen the institutional capacity of the agencies in charge of the suburban rail system in the Mumbai Metropolitan area."
The Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project aims to strengthen the institutional, legal and technical framework for dam safety assurance within the Government of India and in the participating states.