Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC), the executing agency for the Mumbai Urban Transport Project–III’s (MUTP-III) rail component, has approached Indian Rail Finance Corporation (IRFC) for funds now as the World Bank has backed out of funding the purchase of 47 air-conditioned trains for Mumbai, condemning commuters to the city’s furnace-like trains for longer than anticipated earlier.
Mumbai currently has only one AC rake, which runs 12 daily services on weekdays between Churchgate and Virar on the Western Railway line. Under MUTP-III, 47 air-conditioned rakes of 12 cars each are to be procured at a total estimated cost of Rs 3,491 crore, of which, funding of Rs 1,300 crore was to be provided by the World Bank.
It is considered that the World Bank’s withdrawal from the project will further delay the introduction of new AC trains.
However, Chief Managing Director of MRVC, R S Khurana said “There should not be any major problem. We have begun talking to the Indian Rail Finance Corporation,” reported Mumbai Mirror.
It is believed that the World Bank’s back stemmed from the differences over whether the trains should be bought or leased. The World Bank also wanted Panvel-Virar corridor to be prioritised over AC trains.