Right2Information

Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Want to know why your train commute is STILL so miserable? Borivli-resident Devraj Roy filed a Right to Information

Posted by rtiact2005 on June 19, 2006

Want to know why your train commute is STILL so miserable?

http://www.mumbaimirror.com/nmirror/mmpaper.asp?sectid=2&articleid=6182006225256171618200622525431

Rate This Article Comments View Comments

–>

Borivli-resident Devraj Roy filed a Right to Information plea after he was fed up of reading about new railway projects and seeing no results whatsoever. What emerged is that Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation in charge of these projects has not completed a single one of them, despite deadlines having long passed, and has spent crores of rupees allotted to these projects in ‘research’. Mumbai Mirror brings you the sorry state of affairs…

Binoo Nair

A Right to Information Act plea filed by a Borivli resident finally lets Mumbaikars know exactly why train travel in the city just never seems to improve.

Documents of the first presentation made by Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) to railway state minister Narenbhai Rathwa in 2004, which have been obtained by Mumbai Mirror, show that projects entrusted to the agency years ago are still languishing hopelessly. MRVC is the nodal agency to execute all projects that will take Mumbaikars into the future of train travel.

The plea was filed by Devraj Roy who claimed that he wanted to know the truth after just reading about new railway city projects in newspapers and seeing nothing on the ground.

The documents show that several projects that are absolutely important if you want to travel better have moved just about two per cent since the MRVC presentation to Rathwa on August 2, 2004. Among them are the Borivli-Virar Quadrupling Project, which will see lakhs of commuters from the belt getting more trains; additional lines between Kurla and Thane that will see suburban services increase on Central Railway; a new line on the Western Railway that will see passenger trains leave the city without disturbing suburban train punctuality and a car shed at Virar which will allow WR to buy more trains to give you more services.

The documents reveal that the target dates of completion that MRVC officials had told Rathwa in the presentation have long passed and have been as of now extended to beyond 2008 and 2009 in most cases. Projects, which MRVC shows as being in advanced stages, are those which were started by Central and Western Railways before the MRVC was constituted and under a Railway Board order of April, 2003 were transferred to MRVC by the two railways. The completed ones are just four with a total cost of Rs 36 crore.

Through all this its officials have run up bills of Rs 36,14,249 in airfare and Rs 18,10,842 in hotel charges on international tours that have included Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Washington DC, USA, Portugal, France, Singapore, United Kingdom, Spain, Hong Kong, Germany, Switzerland and Canada.

This is coupled with a huge number of tours within India where just between April 2005 and March 2006, MRVC officials have spent Rs 18,24,993 in airfare and Rs 5,55,649 in hotel bills.

For the period starting April 2006 up to May 19, 2006, these officials have spent Rs 1,91,550 in airfare and the hotels bills still lay unclaimed though sources said it could be in the range of Rs 3 lakh.

The foreign tours are ostensibly for studying electrical systems, meeting with officials of the World Bank and procuring technological inputs, though sources point out that most of the technology being used by MRVC to finish projects is what is already in use by both Central and Western Railways and didn’t require as many foreign tours.

Cordination between agencies like the state government — principal secretary (Urban Development) Ramanand Tiwari, director, MMRDA, Dr T Chandrashekhar,  CR and WR, which hold operational control of the city’s railways, the Railway Board which is the apex authority of Indian Railways, has been lacking, said sources, resulting in delays on projects.

“Chandrashekhar is busy with his MMRDA projects, both CR and WR have officials whose report cards depend on the services given now rather than when MRVC completes its projects.

“So different agendas mean the commuter suffers,” said a top-ranking railway official.

When contacted PC Sehgal, managing director, MRVC said, “I’ll try my level best to ensure proper coordination. There are several agencies involved. I hope to take along everyone with me.”

Sehgal just took over as MRVC chief last Monday after the body was headless for over half a year with Director (Projects) Vishnu Kumar as acting MD, another reminder, said sources, of how callously the city’s nodal rail agency has been treated.

BORIVLI-VIRAR QUADRUPLING PROJECT

Cost:
Rs 457.80 crore
Date of completion told to Rathwa: March 2006
Expenditure till March 2004: Rs 269.4 crore
Percentage of work complete: 77 per cent

AS PER RTI INFORMATION AS ON MAY 19, 2006


New date of completion: June 2007
Expenditure till May 19, 2006: Rs 336.72 crore
Percentage of work complete: 87 per cent

(WR construction engineers executing the project for MRVC claim that this is a puffed-up figure, as huge amounts of work have to be done between Vasai and Bhayander. In fact, work between Vasai-Virar was completed in May 2004, but since then work has been languishing till it picked up with the work at Borivli station last month. The government's inability to clear encroachments near Dahisar played a big part in the delay)

KURLA-THANE ADDITIONAL LINES

Cost:
Rs 174.30 crore
Date of completion told to Rathwa: March 2006
Expenditure till March 2004: Rs 115.3 crore
Percentage of work complete: 46 per cent

AS PER RTI INFORMATION AS ON MAY 19, 2006

New date of completion: June 2008
Expenditure till May 19, 2006: Rs 124.01 crore
Percentage of work complete: 47.5 per cent
(In two years since the Rathwa presentation, just 1.5 per cent extra work has been done and Rs 9 crore spent. Construction engineers of Central Railway who are doing the project for MRVC say it is highly unlikely that the line gets completed by June 2008 looking at the snail's pace with which it is progressing. Here, too, the government has played truant with removing legal and illegal buildings and MRVC — which is a partner between railway ministry and state government — has been unable to act)

VIRAR-DAHANU RAIL SERVICES

Cost:
Rs 31.20 crore
Target for completion: March 2006
Expenditure up to March 2004: Rs 1.5 crore
Percentage of work completed: Nothing

RTI INFORMATION AS ON MAY 19, 2006

New date of completion: May 2008
Expenditure up to May 19, 2006: Rs 12.32 crore
Percentage of work complete: 20 per cent

(Officials believe it will not be before 2010 that we finally see local services going all the way to Dahanu from Churchgate or even Virar)

BUYING NEW LOCALS FOR MUMBAI

Cost:
Rs 1,461.10 crore
Date of completion: June 2008
Expenditure up to March 2004: Rs 0
Percentage of work completed: Nothing

RTI INFORMATION AS ON MAY 19, 2006

New date of completion: June 2009
Expenditure up to May 19, 2006: Rs 175.80 crore
Percent complete: 14 per cent

(All the 14 new rakes that have come in were actually purchased by WR and CR. All the MRVC has to show for it is a 3-coach unit that runs on WR. Now, a new train is being constructed after taking into account suggestions from commuters. The delay was because MRVC spent too much time inviting international tenders and then settling for Integral Coach Factory at Chennai)

VIRAR CARSHED

Cost: Rs 79.18 crore
Target for completion: July 2007
Expenditure up to March, 2004: Rs 20.5 crore
Percentage of work completed: Nothing

RTI INFORMATION AS ON MAY 19, 2006

New date of completion: March 2009
Expenditure up to May 19, 2006: Rs 25.89 crore
Percentage of work complete: 12 per cent

(WR officials say that for the carshed, huge tracts of land have to be procured from the state government and MRVC hasn't been able to do so. It is highly unlikely that the project will close even in 2009. However once completed, it will give Mumbaikars more services as more trains can be bought due to the new parking space that will be available)

5TH LINE BETWEEN SANTACRUZ-MAHIM

Cost:
Rs 62 crore
Date of completion: December 2006
Expenditure up to March 2004: Rs 10 lakh
Percentage of work complete: Nothing

RTI INFORMATION AS ON MAY 19, 2006
New date of completion: December 2008
Expenditure up to May 19, 2006: Rs 10.59 crore
Percentage of work complete: 7 per cent

(Among the toughest of projects that will include moving the rail bridge used by Harbour line trains between Bandra and Khar, officials believe it is a jinxed project requiring too much energy to even think of completing)

 

3 Responses to “Want to know why your train commute is STILL so miserable? Borivli-resident Devraj Roy filed a Right to Information”

  1. Rishi said

    THis is really bad…. i think we mumbaikars still have to travel worst than dogs life…. by the borivali-virar quadrupling takes place, we may need more lines…
    and is there any strategic plans after the quadrupling…how is the train rush and timings going to increase… there is NO mention of that… will the trains for Virar increase ????
    the govt. is planning to finish the work till June ’07, so consider it as dec’07.. and then trains may start moving on it from mar-april ’08…..Long wait ..After this also we are not sure if something good is in store for Commuters

  2. Hemant Dokhale said

    What is the present status of the project as on Nov.2007 and when it is likly to be fully operational.

  3. Car Shed said

    Interesting post found by searching about car shed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: