Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off two Vande Bharat trains from Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), inaugurate a new campus of an educational institute of the Dawoodi Bohra community as well as two elevated roads corridors and a vehicular underpass during his visit to the metropolis on Friday.
After arriving in the city, Modi will first flag off CSMT-Solapur Vande Bharat Express in the afternoon and soon after the second semi high-speed train linking the financial capital to Sainagar Shirdi, a temple town in Ahmednagar district, Railway officials said on Thursday.
The Mumbai-Solapur Vande Bharat Express will cover the 455 kilometre distance between the country's commercial capital and the premier textile city in 6 hours and 30 minutes, a saving of nearly one hour in current timings.
It will improve connectivity between the two cities and also facilitate travel to important pilgrimage centres like Siddheshwar in Solapur, Akkalkot, Tuljapur, Pandharpur near Solapur and Alandi in Pune district.
The Mumbai-Sainagar Shirdi Vande Bharat Express will take 5 hours and 25 minutes to cover the 343 kilometre journey to one of the India's most patronised temple towns as well other pilgrimage centres in Nashik, Trimbakeshwar and Shani Singanapur, reducing the current time by around two hours.
With this, the number of Vande Bharat Express trains running from Mumbai will increase to three, with Maharashtra also being the first state to have two intra-state Vande Bharat services.
According to the officials, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, his deputy Devendra Fadnavis and Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, among other dignitaries, will be present at the CSMT function.
Later in the day, Modi will inaugurate a new campus of Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah (The Saifee Academy), the principal educational institute of the Dawoodi Bohra community, at Marol in suburban Andheri and dedicate infrastructure projects to the nation.
Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah is working to protect the learning traditions and literary culture of the community.
The Prime Minister will also inaugurate Vakola-Kurla and MTNL-LBS (Lal Bahadur Shastri) elevated corridor arms on Santacruz-Chembur Link Road, a key east-west corridor in the city, and a vehicular underpass at Kurar in the northern suburb of Malad. These arms connect the Western Express Highway to the Eastern Express Highway.
The Kurar underpass is crucial to ease traffic on WEH and connect Malad and Kurar sides of the busy highway. It will allow pedestrians to cross the road with ease and also vehicles to move without having to get onto the heavy traffic on WEH.
Police said there will traffic curbs on some routes in view of the PM's visit.
Traffic will be "regulated and controlled" on the Eastern Freeway and nearby roads in South Mumbai as well as in Marol and Andheri areas of western suburbs, officials said.
Traffic on the Eastern Freeway, P D'Mello Road, Shahid Bhagat Singh Marg and roads leading to these arterial routes in the southern part of the metropolis will be regulated from 2.45 pm to 4.15 pm.
Traffic on Aljamea-Tas-Saifiyah road in Marol in the western suburb of Andheri would be regulated between 4.30 pm to 6.30 pm.
Traffic on Marol Church Road including side roads, Airport Road, Metro Station junction, Andheri-Ghatkopar-Kurla road and Elevated Airport Road from Vile Parle (East) will also be "controlled and regulated", an official informed.
This will be Modi's second visit to the city in less than a month. On January 19, the PM inaugurated and laid foundation stones for infrastructure and healthcare projects worth more than Rs 38,000 crore in the financial capital.
His visit assumes significance in view of the upcoming Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls.