Mumbai, India (Urban Transport News): In a recent review meeting called by the Ministry of Railways, Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has submitted a proposal to revive its ambitious CSMT-Panvel elevated corridor with Maglev trains on a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model.
MRVC has written a letter to the Maharashtra government and the Railway Board seeking an in-principal approval for the project, which envisages constructing a 55-km long elevated corridor connecting CSTM and Panvel with an offshoot that will run till the Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA).
A Switzerland-based SwissRapide AG in a joint venture with Indian firm Lasane Infra Private Limited has recently sent an expression of interest (EoI) to develop and run maglev trains on the CSTM-Panvel corridor at an estimated cost of Rs 13,347 crore. In its proposal, the Swiss firm has said that using the Maglev train (a Swiss-German technology) can complete the journey between two cities within 35 minutes at a speed of 200 km per hour.
The Swiss firm has proposed to run eight-coach Maglev trains which would have a capacity to accommodate 2,872 passengers and the train will be run with a frequency of three minutes on the CSTM-Panvel corridor and 8.6 minutes for the NMIA stretch.
MRVC has said that private investment is expected to cover the cost of construction, operation and running of the Maglev trains. However, the government will have to pay for resettlement and rehabilitation in lieu of land acquisition and utility shifting, which will be borne on a 50:50 cost-sharing basis between the Government of Maharashtra and the Ministry of Railways. Nitin Kareer, Principal Secretary of State Urban Development department said:
We will be seeking comments from MMRDA and CIDCO over the land needed for the project along with the cost that the government will have to bear. Further clarity is also needed — if the state will be paid for the land or not.
Maglev is a technology that uses two sets of magnets to make the train levitate over the rails and propel it ahead, thereby eliminating the need for wheels, axles, and transmission or overhead wires. Earlier, it was proposed in 2008 on six routes from Panvel, Alibaug and Nariman Point but the project never took off.
The Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) had earlier proposed to build CSMT-Panvel elevated corridor at an estimated cost of Rs 10,870 crore and wanted to include this project under MUTP 3A but did not get the Cabinet approval due to huge cost involved. The Union government has suggested MRVC execute the project through the PPP model while taking ridership into account.