Nagpur: Indian Railways today signed an agreement with the Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation (MahaMetro) to create a mass rapid transit system in the city.

Speaking at the MoU signing event, which saw presence of road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, railway minister Piyush Goyal said his ministry is also trying to execute a plan for setting up railway line across the national highways, according to an official release.

Under the MoU, the Railways and MahaMetro would work towards linking railway line to metro coaches on broad gauge network and creating a mass rapid transit system in Nagpur.

"We have proposed to connect Nagpur-Mumbai Super Express Way (Samriddhi Mahamarg) to railway line connecting Nagpur and Mumbai. The construction of such a hi-speed rail corridor will make it feasible to cover distance between the two cities in just five hours," said Goyal.

He further said his ministry has allocated Rs 67,000 crore for development of suburban railway network in Mumbai which is being used by one third of total railway passengers in the country.

Speaking about the ambitious railway electrification project undertaken by the government, he said, "This will cut the cost of fuel usage worth Rs 12,000-15,000 crore. We are trying to enhance the efficiency of railways without increasing the ticket fares."

Addressing the gathering, Gadkari urged people to use public transport instead of private transport.

"The speed of air conditioned metro coaches running on broad gauge line of railway will be 100 km per hour which is much more than ordinary passenger trains. This MoU will pave the way for towns like Bhandara, Wardha distant from Nagpur to come closer and develop into satellite cities," he said.

Gadkari further said that for passengers who pay Rs 90 for bus fare of Nagpur-Wardha train and spend about 90 minutes of journey time, the same journey will be covered by metro coach in just 35 minutes with fare of only Rs 60.

Meanwhile, another MoU was signed today between Vidarbha Irrigation Industrial Corporation and Western Coalfields for mine water distribution, according to the release. (PTI)

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