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Britain's Transport For London to help build Mumbai Metro rail

IANS     February 18, 2013
With an expertise of nearly 150 years in operating its Tube, Transport For London will now help build a 150-km long Mumbai Metro rail network.

Transport for London (TFL) is a British organisation that manages transport services across London.

This would give an immense boost to solving the traffic problems of Mumbai, currently engaged in finalising the construction of the first phase of its Metro rail, running an 11-km distance between Andheri-Versova-Ghatkopar.

Against the backdrop of the ongoing visit by British Prime Minister David Cameron to India, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and Transport For London (TFL) signed a memorandum of understanding to set up a cooperative framework for developing and operating a Metro railway for the country's commercial capital.

Through the MoU, exchange of information and personnel for transfer of latest technology in the field would be available, enabling MMRDA to implement and operationalise its plans of 150-km long Metro rail network in Mumbai and surrounding regions by 2021.

The MoU was signed by MMRDA Commissioner Rahul Asthana and TFL Capital Programmes director David Waboso.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said that the British business community's participation in mega-infrastructure initiatives in Maharashtra, particularly Mumbai, would definitely encourage the state to plan out more such initiatives for the city's development.

"Our vision is to transform Mumbai into a world-class metropolis with globally comparable infrastructure and quality of life. Towards achieving the vision, a comprehensive transport and business plans has been prepared," Chavan said. "It is estimated that $40 billion investment in transport and civic infrastructure will be needed for the same," he remarked.

The British delegation was shown a film, "Magnetic Maharashtra", highlighting the investment opportunities and developmental plans in the state. The visiting delegation expressed keen interest in development of infrastructure in India, especially in Maharashtra.

On his part, Waboso briefed the Indian side on the integrated London transport system which includes buses, trams, light railway, heavy railway, taxies, river boats and the London underground Metro - the Tube - which is the world's oldest and second largest service in terms of kilometres.

The MMRDA-TFL MoU was part of the visit to Mumbai by British Prime Minister Cameroon and his accompanying high-level business delegation.

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