Mumbaikars cheer Mamata’s railway generosity

Mumbai, Feb 24 (Calcutta Tube) No fare hike, new services, a world class station, proposed concessions for Marathi film technicians – Mumbaikars are grinning from ear to ear over Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee’s generosity towards the city in this year’s railway budget.

The biggest cheer was for the proposal refraining from hiking passenger ticket fares and reducing service charges on bookings of various categories of long distance trains.

These include the reduction in service charge from Rs.15 to Rs.10 for sleeper class and from Rs.40 to Rs.20 for AC class tickets.

The second biggest attraction was the announcement to carry out a survey to provide a railway link between Churchgate on Western Railway and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) on Central Railway – a distance of just 1.2 km, but extremely critical from the viewpoint of Mumbai’s daily 7.5 million commuters.

The link, if and when constructed, would prove to be a boon for people living on the eastern and western corridors, reduce the travel time for crossing over from one corridor to the other and also knock down a psychological barrier that divides the island city.

This is followed by the augmentation of services on the suburban section – a total of 101.

These would include 16 services on the main suburban section of Central Railway, 32 services on the Central Railway Thane-Kalyan to Kasara/Karjat/Khopoli sector, 35 services on the Trans-Harbour Line and 18 on the Harbour Line.

Banerjee also announced that work on the ongoing Mumbai Urban Transport Project-(MUTP) Phase I will be completed by end-2010, while work on the MUTP-Phase II will be targeted for completion by March 2014.

Banerjee has also proposed to convert 10 more stations as world class in which Thane figures this year, besides 93 multi-functional complexes in which the Mumbai Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) of Bandra was named.

Of the five proposed sports academies, Mumbai will get one and out-patient departments and diagnostic centres will be set up at Mumbai CST, Mumbai LTT, Thane and Kalyan.

Mumbai region gets two Matribhoomi (ladies special) Trains, which will run from Thane-Vashi and Panvel-Nerul-Thane.

Of the proposed 16 ‘Bharat Tirth’ trains connecting pilgrimage destinations, Mumbai gets a train on the Mumbai-Pune-Tirupati-Kancheepuram-Rameshwaram-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Pune- Mumbai route.

Banerjee has also proposed concessions to technicians of the regional film industry while travelling for film production related work.

Accordingly, technicians of the Marathi film industry would be entitled to 75 percent discount in Second sleeper, 50 percent in first class, AC chair char, AC-three tier, AC-two tier in all trains barring the Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express and Jan Shatabdi Express.

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