World Bank wants Mumbai transport projects hastened

August 6th, 2008 - 10:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Aug 6 (IANS) A World Bank team, which carried out a detailed review of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP), will “singularly focus on speedy implementation” of all ongoing schemes, an official said. The bank’s task team leader for MUTP Hubert Nove-Josserand said one of the most important projects, the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR), was nearing completion.

“We expect the JVLR to be completed by end-2009. The World Bank has also agreed to increase supervision of the project for the remaining period,” Nove-Josserand said at the conclusion of the fortnight-long bi-annual review mission here Wednesday. The mission will now again come in January 2009.

“This would, however, require intensive project management and better contract management and delivery,” he said.

The bank is also reviewing a request of the central government to extend the loan period of MUTP projects till Dec 31, 2009, including the restructuring package.

The proposal will now go to the World Bank’s regional management and board of directors for its approval, a spokesman for Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which is overseeing MUTP, told IANS here this evening.

On the critical railway component of MUTP, all encroachments for the Kurla-Thane line have been removed and they are being relocated. The work on this new corridor will be completed by December 2009, the World Bank team was told.

The new, modern and high-speed rakes for the suburban section will start arriving from this month at the rate of four every month till March 2009, and then six per month thereafter. Nove-Josserand said that the delivery of all the new rakes would be completed by June 2010.

The proposed Santa Cruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR), a direct link between western suburbs and the northeastern suburbs served by the harbour line branch of Central Railway (CR), is likely to be delayed on account of various impediments, said Milind Mhaiskar, MMRDA’s additional metropolitan commissioner and project director.

The World Bank was informed that 88 percent of the rehabilitation and resettlement of the 19,947 project affected households (PAHs) has been completed. Till date, 150 project affected persons (PAPs) co-operatives have been registered and community management funds transferred to 99 such societies.

Progress has been achieved even in the post-resettlement activities, including transfer of community management funds, opening of joint bank accounts for maintenance funds of 52 societies, and opening of primary schools at Anik and Mankhurd suburbs.

As part of income generation initiatives and job opportunities, 416 resettled persons have been given job offers in collaboration with the private sector, while 10,000 women have been engaged in micro-credit activities, said the spokesperson.

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