New Delhi, Jul 16: The Railways is working on a plan to connect Nagpur and Mumbai through a high-speed corridor which will reduce the travel time between the two cities to just five hours, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said today.
Goyal was in Nagpur to witness the signing of an MoU between the Railways and the Metro Railway Project Company of Maharashtra for linking the railway line to the metro network and creating a Mass Rapid Transit System.
He said his ministry was planning to connect railway lines to national highways across the country. "One such proposal is to connect the Nagpur–Mumbai Super Expressway (Samriddhi Mahamarg) to the railway line connecting Nagpur-Mumbai.
The construction of such a high-speed corridor will make it possible to cover the distance between Nagpur and Mumbai in just five hours," he said.
Currently, the minimum time a train takes to cover the distance between the two cities is around 13.2 hours. The MoU signing ceremony was witnessed by Union Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Water Resources Nitin Gadkari and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The Railways has also allocated a record Rs 67,000 crore for the development of the suburban railway network in Mumbai which is used by one-third of the total Railway passengers in India. The foundation stone laying ceremony of the Nagpur Municipal Corporation's "waste to energy project" was also held on the occasion.
The foundation stone laying ceremony of a project of the Maharashtra State Power Generation Company to carry coal from a cluster of mines of the Western Coalfield Limited through the pipe conveyor system was also held, the ministry said in a statement. Gadkari, while speaking on the rising pollution in metro cities, advocated "public transport on electricity".
He informed that the speed of air-conditioned metro coaches running on the Railway's broad gauge line will be 100 km/hr, which is much more than that of the ordinary passenger trains. Fadnavis said that these three projects would be hailed as innovative steps. He informed that water acquired from mines and power plants is being used to irrigate over 10,000 hectares of land in Maharashtra.
An MoU has been signed between the Vidarbha Irrigation Industrial Corporation and the Western Coalfield Limited for mine water distribution, he said. On the occasion, a booklet titled "New Railways New Maharashtra" on the Railway's development in Maharashtra was also unveiled.