Mumbai Suburban Railway System to get a $500mn boost

Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation signed a loan agreement of $500mn for Mumbai Urban Transport Project-III. Government of India, Government of Maharashtra, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) are the other parties of the agreement. The agreement aims to improve Mumbai’s suburban railway system’s network capacity, service quality, and safety.

Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance representing the Government of India; Sanjay Kumar, Chief Secretary representing the Government of Maharashtra; R.S. Khurana, Chief Managing Director representing the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation and Rajat Misra, Acting Director-General of Investment Operations representing the AIIB sign the $ 500mn loan agreement. (Credit: PIB Delhi)

Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, said that this project would provide faster, more reliable and higher quality transport services to the passengers of the suburban railway system in Mumbai than road-based transport. With a population of approximately 23 million, Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) is the most populous metropolitan region in India. The number is expected to reach about 30 million by 2031. Around 86 percent of Mumbai’s population relies on public transport. However, supply doesn’t match with rising travel demand. 

The project’s aggregate estimated expenditure is around $1000 million, of which $500 million will be financed by the AIIB, $300 million by the Government of Maharashtra, and $200 million by the Ministry of Railways. The $500 million loans from the AIIB have a 5-year grace period and 30 years’ maturity. AIIB Vice President D.J. Pandian acknowledged that this project represents another significant step in supporting the member countries in their attempts to improve transport capacity while diminishing transport bottlenecks.