Mumbai

AIIB approves $500m loan for MUTP 3

(L) Laurel Ostfield, director general and company spokesperson, AIIB, and D.J. Pandian, vice president and chief investment officer, AIIB, in Mumbai on Friday.

(L) Laurel Ostfield, director general and company spokesperson, AIIB, and D.J. Pandian, vice president and chief investment officer, AIIB, in Mumbai on Friday.  

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Virar-Dahanu quadrupling, Karjat-Panvel rail corridor, project to prevent trespass deaths receive a boost

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will invest $500 million in three suburban rail infrastructure projects being executed under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project 3 (MUTP 3). The projects are Virar-Dahanu quadrupling, a new rail corridor between Karjat and Panvel, and a series of works to curb trespass deaths in the Mumbai suburban rail corridor.

The Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC), the executing agency of MUTP 3, has been in talks with the AIIB for over a year for a loan to partly finance the bouquet of projects worth ₹10,947 crore under MUTP 3.

AIIB vice president and chief investment officer D.J. Pandian said around 50-60% of the land needed for the two railway corridors had been acquired but the agreement and the first tranche of funding would happen only after MRVC completes 90% of the land acquisition. “They are working with the government of Maharashtra to expedite the land acquisition for the remainder. Fortunately, the land acquisition policy of MRVC is dynamic and they are very confident that the land will be acquired soon,” he said.

Around 58 hectares need to be acquired for the Virar-Dahanu project, while the Panvel-Karjat corridor involves acquiring 33 hectares.

Mr. Pandian said they have a provision to reimburse up to 20% of any work that has already started in the projects they plan to finance. The project to curb trespass deaths, called mid-section trespass, was the first under MUTP 3 to start and involves building boundary walls and foot overbridges at key areas of trespass across the suburban corridor.

Railway officials said around 35% of the project had been completed. In the interim budget, announced in February, the Central government had allocated ₹578.70 crore towards MUTP 3.

As part of the requirement for the loan, MRVC also conducted a gender survey, which found over 40% women between Virar and Dahanu sections and Neral and Karjat sections had either faced harassment or seen it happen. Mr. Pandian said the results of the survey was an eye-opener and alarming, and said in many places the women’s safety is completely neglected. He also said using the findings of the survey, MRVC will design modern stations which will be gender and disabled-friendly.

MRVC began looking for other multilateral agencies after talks with World Bank, the funding agency for MUTP 1 and MUTP 2, failed. Sources in the Railways said they are aiming to complete all the formalities and finalise the agreement by January 2020.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 3:01:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/aiib-approves-500m-loan-for-mutp-3/article29987888.ece

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