Project Signing: World Bank Provides $430 Million to Further Improve Suburban Railway System in Mumbai Metropolitan Region

July 23, 2010

MUMBAI, July 23, 2010: A Loan Agreement of $430 million equivalent for the Mumbai Urban Transport Project 2A (MUTP 2A) was signed today by the representatives from the Government of India, the Government of Maharashtra, Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation Limited (MRVC) and the World Bank. The signatories to the Agreement were Sudhaker Shukla, Director, Department of Economic Affairs on behalf of the Government of India, Mr T. C. Benjamin, Principal Secretary, Urban Development Department on behalf of the Government of Maharashtra, Mr Pramod Chander Sehgal, Managing Director, on behalf of MRVC and Mr Jerome F. Chevallier, Acting Operations Adviser on behalf of the World Bank in India.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region faces enormous challenges with shortages of land, housing, infrastructure and social services that have not kept up with the growing demands. In 2006-07 an estimated 6.4 million passengers daily (2.3 billion passengers annually) travelled on the Mumbai suburban railway, which makes it the lifeline of the city as it represents more than half of all motorized trips. The commuters are subjected to one of the most severe overcrowding conditions in the world with about 4,500 passengers travelling in a 9-car train as against a rated carrying capacity of 1,700. This translated into a density of up to 16 people per square meter in cars.

This loan is to further improve the suburban railway system in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region – one of the world’s largest urban center with a population of 18 million in 2001.

“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 Project aims to add more vehicle capacity during peak hours, reduce peak hour overcrowding, shorten journey times, improve operational efficiency – namely through reduction in energy consumption, and strengthen institutional capacity. As many as 720 train cars will be added in the 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 $430 million loan for Mumbai Urban Transport Project 2A from the IBRD (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) has a 30-year maturity including a 5-year grace period.

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