Mumbai: In a fresh move over the ambitious third-line project between Kalyan and Kasara,Central Railway will be sending a revised land acquisition proposal to the state government to speed up the project. According to senior officials, small changes in the alignment have necessitated the fresh proposal. However, the good news for commuters is that officials believe this might not have a bearing on the speed of the project’s construction, thanks to about 50% of the land for the project already been acquired.
Between July and December last year, the railways had given proposals to the state government, represented by the district collector, for land acquisition in 38 villages of Kalyan and Shahapur talukas. In March this year, the construction department had given a proposal to the forest department, represented by the deputy conservator of forests, Shahapur, for the transfer of forest land in Shahapur taluka for the project. The new proposal, set to be submitted in the next fortnight, is expected to take care of all the outstanding issues on land acquisition, said CR officials.
Officials said that the project was extensively discussed in the 23rd joint coordination meeting held between CR and other arms of the state department, like MMRDA, CIDCO, forest department on August 4 this year.
The project is one of the bigger ones being pursued by CR’s construction department and it has already given out work orders of around Rs.140 crore for the construction of major bridges as well as earthwork for the project. The latest work order issued was worth Rs.105 crore in the last week of July. The total cost of the project is around Rs.600 crore and the Rs.140 crore-worth work orders add up to about 23 per cent of the project cost. “This means that the project is well and truly on,” said a senior railway official.
Once complete, the 67-kilometre line will be the longest bi-directional rail line in CR’sMumbai division and will allow long-distance and goods trains to run in both directions. This will be akin to Western Railway’s fifth line, used by long distance trains, between Mumbai Central and Borivali which is a bi-directional track.
As per CR records, a total of 147 suburban trains are run on these routes. Of these 34 are to Kasara, 39 to Aasangaon and 74 to Titwala. In addition to these suburban lines, there are 71 long-distance trains that use 49 paths or departure slots every day on these lines to go to places like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Kolkata and the north-east. “All these trains compete with the suburban trains for slots, which makes it a very congested route. The third line will take away some of the load on these two lines and also allow CR to run more suburban trains with punctuality,” said an official.