World Bank loans for Mumbai train system, dam projects (Lead, superseding earlier story)By IANS
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
WASHINGTON - The World Bank has approved $430 million to finance improvement of Mumbai’s suburban railway system, the city’s lifeline and better $350 million to better over 220 dams in Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Tamil Nadu.
The bank’s board Tuesday approved to finance the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project which aims to improve the safety and sustainable performance of over 220 selected dams.
The Mumbai Urban Transport Project 2A aims to add more vehicle capacity during peak hours, reduce peak hour overcrowding, shorten journey times and improve operational efficiency, the bank said.
As many as 720 train cars will be added in the system. The project will also expand maintenance facilities, provide additional stabling lines, and complete the conversion from 1,500 V DC to 25 KV AC traction of the remaining sections of Central Railway in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.
“The first Mumbai Urban Transport Project has already managed to reduce the level of crowding in suburban trains from 4,500 to 4100 passengers per nine-coach train at peak hours in spite of traffic increase,” said Hubert Nove-Josserand, World Bank Senior Urban Transport Specialist and Project Team Leader.
“This follow up project will further improve the capacity, operational efficiency, level of comfort and strengthen the institutional capacity of the agencies in charge of the suburban rail system in the Mumbai Metropolitan area.”
Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) also aims to strengthen the institutional, legal and technical framework for dam safety assurance within the Government of India and in the participating states.
“Rainfall, which occurs mainly in intense and unpredictable downpours within short monsoon seasons, is of high temporal and spatial variability and does not meet year-round irrigation and other water demands,” said Joop Stoutjesdijk, Lead Irrigation Engineer and Project Team Leader.
“Considering this, storage of water is essential for India. However, many large dams are in need of modern safety measures and monitoring instrumentation.”
There are about 4,700 completed large dams in India - almost half of which are more than twenty-five years old- with another 400 under construction. The total water storage capacity of these existing dams is about 283 billion cubic metres.