Churchgate-Virar Rail Corridor May Finally Take Off

The 60-km Churchgate-Virar elevated rail corridor, announced in 2007, may finally take off following PMO’s intervention as the Indian Railways and the Maharashtra government have ironed out most of the disagreements holding up the state support agreement (SSA) for the . 20,000 croreplus Mumbai Elevated Rail Corridor.

Just one point of contention remains to be sorted out, after which the SSA is likely to be ready, railways officials have said. The state government and the railways are now discussing the payment mechanism to be adopted when the concessionaire asks for the penalty due in cases where the authorities do not fulfil obligations such as shifting of utilities, removing state pipelines or local disturbances that hamper the project.

The project has failed to take off for the past six years for various reasons including the non-signing of the SSA. “The disagreement now is over how the penalty will be paid to the concessionaire in cases where the default is on part of the state government,” said a senior railways official, adding that the issue was raised by the state government last month. “While the SSA is signed between us and the state governments, the concession agreement is signed by the concessionaire with the railways. The state government was of the opinion that since the concession agreement is signed with the railways, the concessionaire should ask us for the penalty.”

The railways, while agreeing to pay the concessionaire the penalty, said the amount would be deducted from the concessionaire’s central assistance fund. The state government has agreed to deal with the concessionaire directly, the official said, adding, “We are writing to them on having a meeting on this. We basically just need to fine-tune the payment mechanism.” Previous contentious issues like the floor space index (FSI), which is essentially the commercial space or real estate that can be developed from the land allotted to developer, have also been resolved with the state agreeing ‘in-principle’ to give enhanced FSI. A higher FSI will mean greater space to develop real estate, making the project more attractive to potential investors. The railways will give 12 plots from their land for commercial use for this project.

http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Default/Scripting/ArticleWin.asp?From=Search&Source=Find&Key=ETM/2013/08/12/13/Ar01303%2Exml&CollName=ET_MUMBAI_DAILY_2007&DOCID=646762&Keyword=%28%3Cmany%3E%3Cstem%3Eelevated%3Cand%3E%3Cmany%3E%3Cstem%3Ecorridor%29&skin=ETNEW&AppName=1&PageLabel=13%20&ViewMode=HTML

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Published in: on August 12, 2013 at 4:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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